From a dominant display by the Tarsha Gale girls to a dramatic late try to cause an upset win by the Sydney Roosters Harold Matthews team, Roosters juniors had a sensational start to the NSWRL junior representative season.
After being on track to make the finals in 2020 before COVID-19 interrupted the season, the Tarsha Gale girls got the Club’s juniors off to a great start with a phenomenal 42-0 win against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at Belmore Sports Ground.
The forward pack set the platform in the opening half with big runs from lock Keilee Joseph and second rower Otesa Pule making long runs that turned into points.
Off the back of the forwards big runs, some outstanding ball movement saw the ball move quickly to both edges, resulting in a number of great tries scored in both corners.
Charlize Lloyd-Phillips was outstanding on the wing. She rewarded the work of her team’s early dominance with two first-half tries that contributed to the 18-0 half-time lead, and completed her hat-trick early in the second half.
Pule scored a try in each half, as the Roosters scored nine tries to help the girls secure top spot on the ladder at the end of round one.
The Tarsha Gale girls face a tougher test in round 2 when they take on Illawarra Steelers. Illawarra won the competition in 2019, and were undefeated in 2020 before the season was suspended.
Sydney Roosters Harold Matthews backed up the girls performance by claiming a huge upset win against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs were undefeated in 2020 and had not lost since the 2019 grand final, but the Roosters showed plenty of fight to score a 12-6 win at Belmore.
With scores level, an incident near the Roosters attacking tryline saw one Rooster and two Bulldogs sent to the sin bin with five minutes remaining.
The Roosters took advantage of having an extra player, with Brent Hawkins scoring the winning try with three minutes remaining.
The resilience in defence was outstanding as the Bulldogs only scored when one Rooster was in the sin bin during the first half.
Despite the win, the team will be looking to improve as a number of errors denied the Roosters scoring opportunities.
Both Roosters sides recorded wins in the Harold Matthews Cup, with the Central Coast Roosters sitting second on the ladder after round one with a 38-16 against Balmain Tigers at Leichhardt Oval.
Kalem Surya and Noah Goodman scored two tries each as Central Coast piled on eight tries in a dominant display.
In the SG Ball, Sydney almost pulled off a phenomenal comeback but fell short against the Bulldogs.
Down 14-0, the Roosters scored three tries in the opening 10 minutes of the second half to take a 16-14 lead.
The Bulldogs managed to halt the Roosters momentum, scoring two tries and a penalty goal to deny the Sydney Roosters a clean sweep of all three games at Belmore.
In the regional junior competitions, Central Coast Roosters started the Laurie Daley Cup and Andrew Johns Cup season strongly with wins against NMR Knights at St Johns Oval in Newcastle.
ROUND 1 SCOREBOARD
TARSHA GALE CUP
Sydney Roosters 42 def Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 0
TRIES: Charlize Lloyd-Phillips (3), Otesa Pule (2), Maddie Binding, Teisha Saunders, Ruby Smith, Sophie Whitton
CONVERSIONS: Ruby Smith (3)
NEXT SATURDAY: Illawarra Steelers, 12:30pm at Ziems Park
HAROLD MATTHEWS CUP
Sydney Roosters 12 def Canterbury-Bankstown 6
TRIES: Ethan Roberts, Brent Hawkins
CONVERSIONS: Josh Durkin, Cassius Tia
NEXT SATURDAY: Illawarra Steelers, 11:30am at Mascot Oval
Central Coast Roosters 38 def Balmain Tigers 16
TRIES: Kalem Surya (2), Noah Goodman (2), Hayden Ritchie, Mason Stottelaar, Benaiah Ioelu, Jack Kidd
CONVERSIONS: Hayden Ritchie (2), Ethan Strange
NEXT SATURDAY: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, 2pm at Morry Breen Oval, Wyong
SG BALL CUP
Sydney Roosters 16 def by Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 24
TRIES: Jordan Swann, Sandon Smith, Ethan King
CONVERSIONS: Hugo Savala (2)
NEXT SATURDAY: Illawarra Steelers, 1pm at Mascot Oval
LAURIE DALEY CUP
Central Coast Roosters 24 def NMR Knights 4
TRIES: Daniel Peters (2), Jesse O’Neill-Pethebridge, Matthew Kuech
CONVERSIONS: Jesse O’Neill-Pethebridge (4)
NEXT SATURDAY: Northern Tigers, 12:20pm at Morry Breen Oval, Wyong
ANDREW JOHNS CUP
Central Coast Roosters 8 def NMR Knights 4
TRIES: Aymn Hamilton, James Miller
NEXT SATURDAY: Northern Tigers, 11am at Morry Breen Oval, Wyong