Mounties enjoyed their first win of the season with a punishing seven-try effort in the second half for a resounding 44-18 win over the Kaiviti Silktails in the Leagues Clubs Australia Ron Massey Cup on Saturday.
The Silktails took a 12-8 lead into the break after spending most of the opening 40 minutes camped in Mounties territory at Aubrey Keech Reserve.
But the complexion of the game changed drastically in the second half with Mounties charging into a try-scoring spree to give them nine in total for the Round Four match.
The Silktails in turn slumped into some ill-discipline through frustration.
Three players were put on report – two were sent to the sin-bin in halfback Rusiate Baleitamavua for a hip-drop tackle and prop Watisoni Woqanisaravi for a head-high collision.
It left the Silktials reduced to 11 men for a three-minute period and the Mounties capitalised crossing twice.
Six of the Mounties nine tries came from their speed men. Wingers Lorenzo Mulitalo, brother of Cronulla-Sutherland NRL star Ronaldo Mulitalo, and Freddy Kini scored four between them with centre Roman Ioelu having a flurry at the finish with two in the last three minutes.
The Silktails are now 1-3 to start 2023 but return to their home ground of Churchill Park in Lautoka to meet the Hills Bulls in Round Five, to try to get their season back on track.
The Fijians had everything under control early.
Off the back of a wealth of possession, the Silktails scored three tries – a brace to centre Tomasi Seru Seru, while fullback Robert Nauci (pictured above) opening proceedings with a determined effort in the 10th minute.
With four Mounties players hanging off him as he crashed over the line he managed to wriggle free to find the grass.
Seru wasn’t having a productive day with the boot missing all three conversions. But with the 12-0 buffer the Silktails seemed to be in command.
Mounties came alive in the final 10 minutes before halftime, scoring two tries through second rower Presley Sau and then Mulitalo.
They didn’t drop that momentum as the second half began. Mounties scored two quick tries – Mulitalo getting his double, along with prop Kenny Soumpholphakdy, to shoot to a 20-14 lead.
They were relentless in spinning the ball wide quickly once they had drawn defenders into the middle with their forwards punching a few holes.
The Silktails pulled one back with second rower Sirilo Lovokuro barging over, but it was far too little too late.
Mounties remain at home next week to face Penrith Brothers.
This article was written by NSWRL.