A slashing opening 40 minutes from Group 10 competition leaders Orange CYMS has set up a 52-24 victory over derby rivals Hawks, netting the green and golds the Ray Kelly Shield.
In front of the club’s 1987 Group 10 premiership winning outfit on hand at Wade Park to celebrate a 30 year reunion, CYMS raced in six unanswered first half tries.
Captain-coach Mick Sullivan wound back the clock to have a hand in the opening four tries – Tom Sattertherwaite, Ben McAlpine, Brendan Cousins and Joey Lasagavibau all crossing – before the veteran pivot crossed for his own four-pointer after 34 minutes to race CYMS out to a 28-0 lead over Hawks.
Paradise Mann then scored his first try for the club, converted by McAlpine, before the goal-kicking fullback potted a penalty goal right on half-time to cap a stellar opening half with a 36-0 lead.
Sullivan said after Hawks captain-coach Willie Heta received all the plaudits after the initial derby in 2017, he was keen to get one back on his opposite on Sunday.
He did that in spades.
“I saw the paper article this morning, he got the points so I wanted to square the ledger,” Sullivan smiled post game.
“I haven’t got the feet that Willie has anymore but I think we’ve got pretty good structure and I wanted to have a decent game for myself passing-wise, I’ve been a fraction off.
“A few kicks came off and a few passes nice and early so it was good to get a couple away ... and that article added a bit of motivation.
“I’m a lot older than him and I like to think I play a bit different.”
Things got a touch scrappy in the second 40 minutes as Hawks hit the go button through its potent right edge attack.
Willie Heta combined brilliantly with Sione Tongia to charge the two blues downfield at will, netting Hawks quick tries to Victor Ward and Caleb Lewis to breath life into the clash.
Jack Aumuller and Jedd Kennedy also crossed for the two blues in the final 40 minutes, meaning Heta’s outfit out-scored CYMS 24-16 in the second stanza.
Ryan Griffin, Bronx Goodwin and Lasagavibau all crossed in the second half for CYMS, a side minues Tim Mortimer, Sullivan and influential prop Chris Bamford for large parts of the final term as all three were given spells.
“We showed in the first half you can be dominant if you control the ball but the second half got a bit scrappy and they out-scored us,” Sullivan said.
“We need to be good at the back end of games come semis to get the result.”