DEMOLITION MAN MASSACRES DRAGONS
By Les Muir
SETTING out to make a statement, Southcity smashed Temora 60-4 at Nixon Park on Sunday.
With the Demolition Man creating absolute havoc, Southcity stayed firmly on top of the Group Nine table with an 11 tries to one blitzing.
Powerful centre Usaia O’Sullivan was at his destructive best, scoring five tries and creating two others in a spectacular solo performance.
Using his strength, speed and sublime skills, O’Sullivan made life a torment and misery for the hapless Dragons who were eventually left in a shameful shambles.
Long-time Temora supporters could scarcely find the words to describe the horrendous result, which has completely silenced the Dragons as a finals pretender.
In blazing contrast, Southcity reclaimed their most dominant touch to continue to steam towards the minor premiership next weekend.
Heading into the last round, Southcity only needs to sweep past Brothers at Harris Park next Saturday to finish in first position for the semis.
And as Usaia O’Sullivan declared, that was exactly what the Bulls had in mind on Sunday.
Amid the carnage of one of Temora’s darkest football days, O’Sullivan revealed Southcity had been on a mission at Nixon Park.
“We really wanted to pick up from the last couple of weeks,” ‘Sullivan said.
“We knew ourselves we weren’t playing our best footy the last few weeks, so I think we just wanted to step it up another notch heading into the finals.
“That was it.”
On the rebound from less than convincing 24-18 victory over 10th-placed Tumbarumba, Southcity upped the ante against Temora.
Taking their lead from O’Sullivan, the Bulls made mincemeat of the Dragons in an embarrassingly one-sided game.
Southcity got off to a flyer when Luke McBeath cruised through a yawning gap to score in the sixth minute before serving up the ball for Kyle McCarthy to jink over for a try nine minutes later.
Up 10-0, the Bulls were in hot form and O’Sullivan set about raising the temperature even higher.
In double quick time, O’Sullivan scored two tries and played a huge tole in two others as Southcity blasted to a 28-0 lead by halftime.
Without question, O’Sullivan did it all.
If he wasn’t crashing through would-be defenders, swooping on errant passes for intercept tries or showing athleticism to mark a high ball and offload in the same motion, he was hitting Temora ball-runners with crunching tackles.
And the first half was just the entree.
By the time he was finished with the Dragons, O’Sullivan had scored three more breathtaking tries and made a few more bell-ringers.
But O’Sullivan was not about to hog the spotlight.
“A lot of our young boys have stepped up ... Luke McBeath and Tyson Hodge,” the star centre said..
“He’s a big boy (Hodge).”
On the threshold of another finals campaign with Southcity, O’Sullivan is yet to be re-signed for 2018.
“I’ll be here in Wagga but still haven’t spoken to Southcity about next year,” he said.
“I’m here if they want me.
“Hopefully they will. It’s a good club.”
Southcity’s domination was set to be complete until Temora halfback Chris Maher snatched a consolation try with five seconds to go.
SOUTHCITY 60 (U O’Sullivan 5, P Manawatu 2, S Bowden, S Tracey, N Rose, KMcCarthy, L McBeath tries; P Manawatu 5, K McCarthy goals) d TEMORA 4 (C Maher try) at Nixon Park. Scrums: 5-5. Penalties: 6-4