Greens washed away by Mallee Men surge

Group 20 rugby league
Nanjing Night Net

Reserve grade

LEETON simply had no answers for a West Wyalong side that came out with intent to win the reserve grade premiership 18-6.

While the final score doesn’t indicate dominance, West Wyalong was strong from the kick-off and Leeton was only able to get into the game in flashes.

“They made the best of their opportunities,” said coach David Stevens. “We had our chances.

“They were a bigger side and kept coming and coming. They were more enthusiastic. We probably panicked a bit here and there.”

The Mallee Men scored first following a holding down penalty, but much of the first half was a sounding out period as both sides completed their sets and kicked to get the other deep in their defensive half.

However, one thing that was noticeable was the speed of the Mallee Men’s defensive line as Leeton was unable to get easy metres. The Greens were the opposite, allowing movement forward by West Wyalong.

Leeton did set up some attacking forays, including a deft chip kick by Tim Del Guzzo that was taken by Chris Smith, but all were unsuccessful.

West Wyalong scored again after a break by Dan Wallace with the Leeton defenders falling off in the tackles.

Ahead 12-0, on half-time the Mallee Men were awarded a penalty, which Tye Pilon slotted from 44 metres out for a 14-0 lead. Stevens said there was still belief the Greens could respond.

“I knew if we came out strong in the second half we’d be a chance,” he said.

“But … they were too strong in their d, enthusiastic and we didn’t compete well enough. They were just better on the day really.”

Leeton did step it up a notch in the second half, but were still behind West Wyalong’s intensity.

A Peter Hodge offload to a flying Kyle Tuckett on the left wing was promising, but came up 15 metres short when he was taken into touch, while Mat Grundy was ducking and weaving for vital metres.

The combination of Tyler Boller and Del Guzzo finally put Leeton on the board as the latter provide support and went in under the posts for an easy Tuckett conversion.

Dean Pauling and Cameron Miller had a running battle that sucked several others in, while Rod Coelli was lucky not to be sent off after going high on Craig Johnston and knocking him out cold, resulting in a break in play for some minutes.

On the resumption, Grundy lost the ball in a one-on-one strip, putting sustained pressure on the Leeton line that broke when Chris Fealy reached out from a tackle to score the last for the day and provide the 18-6 final score line.


West Wyalong 18 (tries: Dan Wallace, Chris Fealy, Craig Johnston; goals: Tye Pilon 2; penalty goals: Tye Pilon) d Leeton 6 (tries: Tim Del Guzzo; goals Kyle Tuckett)

Best on ground: Craig Johnston (West Wyalong)

LEETON’S Ben Boller is stopped by a West Wyalong defensive that nearly proved unbreakable.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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