Devils dominate Dapto
Mitch Jennings, Illawarra Mercury, 14th April 2014.
Wests ushered in the Jason Ryles era with a clinical 36-0 victory over Dapto on Friday night in a performance that put their league rivals on notice.
Halves Clint Wright and Nathan Dureau, who started at halfback after James Smart was a late withdrawal, were outstanding for the Devils, putting on a kicking clinic that kept Dapto on the back foot.
Wright laid on the first two tries with kicks, the first for centre Bart Hill after 15 minutes and the second to winger Lance Wright in the 26th minute.
Wright backed up his try only minutes later, going 80 metres on a kick return for the Devils’ third try and a 14-0 lead.
Dureau also had the ball on a string, mixing up Wests’ sets with pinpoint kicks into the Dapto in-goal, earning repeat sets for his side.
He took full advantage on the stroke of half-time to put Peni Botiki over with a deft short ball for a healthy 20-0 advantage.
Not to be outdone by his wing partner, Mitch Porter shifted to fullback in the second half following an injury to Brad Scott and notched two four-pointers to extend the lead to 30-0.
Fittingly it was the halves who combined for the final try, with Wright on the end of an incisive run from Dureau to score next to posts.
Coach Ryles was happy with a complete performance following a tough opening to the match.
‘‘It was a good all-round performance from everyone on the field which is about as much as you could ask for,’’ Ryles said.
‘‘There’s still a few things to improve on but I couldn’t have asked for anything more in the conditions.’’
Dapto were better than the scoreline indicated and showed enough early in the first half to suggest they’ll trouble sides this year.
‘‘They got a couple of tries off kicks there but they just ran harder than us which is a bit of a lesson,’’ coach Chris Leikvoll said.
‘‘It’s not a real good start for us but we’ll dust ourselves off and go again.’’