Devils dust Dogs, setting up clash of the titans with Tigers
Illawarra Mercury- 02/06/2014
Wests set up a blockbuster top-of-the-table clash with leaders Helensburgh this week with a 28-8 win over Collegians at Collegians Sports Centre on Sunday.
A three-try blitz in the opening 15 minutes propelled the Devils to the impressive victory over a depleted Collegians.
Collies star five-eighth Sam Duggan, who earned a call-up to the Illawarra Cutters last week, was the most conspicuous of a host of absentees for the Dogs, who were off the pace from the start.
They also had to deal with the loss of star dummy-half Jimmy Storer, who limped from the field five minutes after half-time and didn't return.
The Devils didn't emerge unscathed, with five-eighth Nathan Dureau knocked out attempting a tackle in the second half.
"I thought for the first 50 minutes we were pretty good but we've still got a long way to go," Wests coach Jason Ryles said.
"We're under no illusions, they were very understrengthed today."
In stark contrast to recent weeks, the Devils were as per program after injuries and suspensions had tested their depth.
"We've used 29 players in five games which is hard to deal with but on the other side of the coin the guys who've come in have done a really good job," Ryles said.
"That shows the depth in the club and that will hold us in good stead come the end of the season."
Wests opened the scoring after just seven minutes when Dureau kicked into the Collies in-goal, with Junior Teleni spilling the ball allowing Bart Hill to score.
Wests were in again moments later when fullback Brad Scott launched another beautifully-weighted grubber into the Dogs's in-goal, this time for Zac Hill to win the race to the ball.
Wests extended the lead to 16-0 moments later when Scott chimed in on a clever blindside play to lay on Hill's second try.
The Dogs hit back in the 21st minute when Alipate Noilea shrugged off Zac Hill to score in the right-hand corner to peg the deficit back to 16-4.
It was their only joy of the first half as the Devils's three-pronged kicking attack of Dureau, Scott and halfback Clint Wright kicked the defending premiers into submission.
Wright laid the platform for the Devils's fourth try with a deft grubber into the Collies in-goal that forced Dogs fullback Jay Bonnell to carry the ball dead.
The Devils made Collies pay through Justin King, whose close-range effort extended the Devils's advantage to 22-4 with five minutes to play in the first half.
The second half degenerated into an uninspiring affair with Collies substitute Daniel Bourke and Wests prop Lloyd Thomas scoring tries as the match petered out.
Collies coach Reece Simmonds said his side simply gave Wests too much latitude early in the match.
"We were missing a few but that's no excuse," Simmonds said.
"I thought we lost the game in the first 10-15 minutes.
"They just steamrolled us. We made a few errors and they made us pay.
"You can't afford to give a side like Wests 18 points start, they're just too good defensively to let you back in it."