The Glebe Dirty Reds have ended a four-match losing streak in Round 11 of the Ron Massey Cup, holding on to defeat a fast-finishing Kaiviti Silktails 28-24 at Henson Park.
Still buoyed after meeting the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues the day before, the Silktails opened with Origin-like intensity to lead 12-0 after nine minutes.
Skipper Apakuki Tavodi powered over for the first try, and in the next set the Fijians had another when centre Ratu Temesia Jilivecevece outpaced the defence after running onto a room service bounce.
Not to be outdone, Glebe hit back through captain and former Kiwi international Greg Eastwood. The big prop ran through a yawning gap to open the Dirty Reds’ account, and they levelled following the restart when back-rower Jonah Ngaronoa finished off a long range try from Devon Makoare-Boyce bust.
The sides then traded four-pointers and after a hectic 23 minutes that included five tries, the Silktails led 18-16.
Much of the Silktails attack was orchestrated by Mosese Qionimacawa and the halfback looked poised to extend his side’s lead just before halftime. Yet the potential try went begging when Ethan McPherson pounced on the final pass, running the length of the field to help Glebe to an unlikely 22-18 advantage.
Glebe replacement Peter Nay pushed his way over from dummy-half five minutes after the resumption and, with the majority of field position, they enjoyed a 10-point buffer for the next 20 minutes.
In an afternoon of tit-for-tat attack, Viliame Tutuvuli struck back with a length-of-the-field intercept of his own. The Silktails winger’s sixth try of the season was converted by Qionimacawa. With 15 minutes remaining the Dirty Reds led 28-24.
As the clock counted down while the Silktails were on the attack, the Fijians were on track to repeat last week’s late escape over Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles. Then with a shift to the right the Silktails looked to have levelled the scores, but it wasn’t to be when an obstruction ruling prevented the try and Glebe held on for the win.
Next week the Silktails meet the Magpies at Mascot Oval, while the Dirty Reds have a Round 12 bye before facing Ryde Eastwood Hawks a week later at TG Millner Field.
The Silktails’ participation in the NSWRL’s Ron Massey Cup is proudly supported by the Australian Government through PacificAus Sports.
The NSWRL receives funding from the Australian Government through PacificAus Sports to support the Silktails’ participation in the NSWRL’s Ron Massey Cup.