Penrith dominates early as quality rugby sis on display at State Champs

Can anyone stop Penrith?

The Emus waltzed into Monday's NSW Rugby Under 14 State Championship semi-finals courtesy of a scintillating, unbeaten run through the weekend's preliminary stages in a tournament that showcased some of the best young rugby talent in the country. 

While there were some blow-out games, the rugby was hard-fought and to a very high standard across the board, but once again the Sydney teams were able to show the stranglehold they have over the game.

Penrith's back-line has been far too strong for all-comers so far, in particular five-eighth Isiah Katoa, centres Latraelle Leota and Siotame Hansen and fullback Malakai Tereke

They were unstoppable in pool A, kicking off with a huge 41-0 win over Hunter, a 20-5 win over Eastwood and a huge 76-0 thrashing of Parramatta to cruise into the top of their group to qualify for the first quarter final. 

They absolutely crunched Illawarra in that game, too, winning 67-0 to set up a date with Manly in the semi final at 9am on Monday morning. 

Illawarra were no easy-beats, either, having won their two group games 44-0 and 12-5 over Central Coast and Southern Districts respectively, but Penrith proved themselves a class above in their final. 

Manly also cruised through their pool matches as well, crunching ACT Brumbies (22-0), Randwick (40-5) and Central West (41-5) on their unbeaten run early before beating West Harbour 29-5 in the qualifying final.

On the other side of the draw, Gordon will face off against Northern Suburbs for a berth in the grand final.

Gordon finished atop pool B, with a 20-0 victory over Southern Districts and a massive 74-0 victory over Central Coast, while their game against Illawarra was scrapped after a player was taken to hospital as a precaution after suffering concussion and complaining of neck pains. 

He was expected back at Emus on Sunday afternoon, however.

Gordon defeated Eastwood 14-5 in the semi-final in a lower-scoring affair. 

Northern Suburbs took a more difficult route to the semi-finals, having much smaller wins in their group games than the three other semi-finalists. 

They defeated West Harbour 29-12 in their first game before overcoming the Mark Gerrard-coached Warringah outfit 14-7 and Sydney University 27-7. 

However, they had a comfortable 22-7 win over Randwick to travel into the semi-final to book a date with Gordon at 9am on Monday. 

The winners of the semi-finals gear up for the grand final at 2.15pm on Monday, while the two losers play off for third at 1.45pm on the main field. 

The rest of the sides all play finals to determine final standings in the tournament, and to ensure all outfits end up with at least a total of five games under the belt across the weekend.

Parramatta plays Central West for 13th spot at 9.55am, while Waringah plays Central Coast at the same time on field two to determine who avoids 16th position on the standings. 

ACT plays Hunter for 9th and Sydney Uni plays Southern Districts for 11th in the game afterwards before Illawarra and Eastwood play for 7th at 11.45, with Randwick and West Harbour playing for 5th at the same time.