Werribee reign supreme over Warriors
By Jayden Cameron
ISC NRLVIC 9’s Grand Final Review
Werribee has risen to the occasion with a confidence boosting victory over their rivals, Casey, 18-14 in the NRL VIC 9’s Grand Final.
From the outset, the pace was fast and furious, as both teams were playing with a chip on their shoulder, looking to get the edge over their opponent. The skills were slick and the tackles were hard, clearly showing these were the two best teams in the league.
However, it was Casey who were able to draw first blood, courtesy of Jordin Leiu as the slick passing of the Warriors proved too much for the Bears defence.
However, just moments later, due to the wide open spaces, Marcus Kaponga was able to manoeuvre the defence and hit back right under the posts, levelling the scores once again. Casey’s defence was strong closing in on half time, with a couple of run down tackles saving a couple of tries.
Yet, the game was hit with a couple of send-offs, as an incident rose and changed the complex of the game, with the Warriors being down a man for majority of the second half.
So with the man advantage in the second half, Werribee were able to put their defence on the back foot, using the open space on the side lines, and scoring through Troy Hanita-Paki.
However, the game was far from over, with the Warriors, despite the disadvantage, were able to claw their way back with costly turnovers from the Bears. While they hit back, man of the match, Radeem Saleupolu, was able to break the Warriors defence and score a length of the field try to ultimately put the icing on the cake for a back-to-back 9’s victory for the Bears.
Conversion for Casey was ultimately their downfall, with a chance to level the game late with two conversion kicks. Yet, with the misses, Bears were able to hold it out and finish the game 18-14 victors.
Radeem explained that while it was a good win, they must not get too far ahead, admitting that, “9’s is a little bit different to normal games, but a win over Casey does give us a bit of confidence meeting them again later in the year that we can beat them.”
Now with the 9’s competition completed, teams can solely turn their focus onto the First Grade competition, with Finals just two games away.
Try Scorers: Kaponga 5’, Hanita-Paki 10’, Saleupolu 14’
Conversions: Metuariki 3
Try Scorers: Leiu 3’, Aporo 12’, Veikoso 17’
Conversions: Aporo 1