All 10 Jersey Flegg teams took to the field this weekend for the first time in 2021.
After byes and postponements the Wests Tigers and Parramatta Eels began their seasons, while the Bulldogs and Panthers, who were originally scheduled for a bye in Round 3, played out their rescheduled Round 2 game.
The seven day wait was worth it for Penrith, who thrashed Canterbury in their catch up game at Belmore Sports Ground. The Panthers held a comfortable 16-4 lead going into the break before turning it on in the second half, running in six tries. Centre Thomas Jenkins had a field day for Penrith, scoring four tries, while five-eighth Niwhai Puru had a debut to remember, scoring two tries and kicking seven goals.
Penrith 50 (Jenkins 4, N Puru 2, Clark-Wood, El-Nachar, Mason tries; N Puru 7 goals) def. Canterbury 4 (Clark try) at Belmore Sports Ground.
Debuts: Terii Taia (Canterbury), Niwhai Puru (Penrith)
The West Tigers got their 2021 season with a dominant 38-point win over Victoria. The Tigers jumped out to a quick 20-point lead thanks to doubles to debutants Jordan Hill and Kade Hill. Thunderbolts captain Jack Natapu got his side on the board in the 18th minute before the Tigers regained their 20-point margin with an Elifasa Leilua try. The second half was once again all Wests, as they put four more tries past Victoria, which included Jordan Hill completing his hat-trick. The win moves the Tigers into second, despite playing just one game, while the Thunderbolts remain winless.
Wests Tigers 50 (J Hill 2, K Hill 2, Dillon, Leilua, Ngatikaura, Perry tries; Stevanovic 7 goals) def. Victoria 12 (Naitoko, Natapu tries; Pezet 2 goals) at Casey Fields.
St George Illawarra overcame a 10-point second half deficit to defeat Manly and record their second win of 2021. In what was originally scheduled to be a Dragons’ home game before ground closures, the Sea Eagles got off to a strong start at home, leading 14-10 at half time. They extended their lead to 10 five minutes after the break after Jamie Lawler scored his second try. The Dragons began their comeback in the 47th minute when Hayden Budd scored. Seven minutes later they took the lead after Connor Muhleisen converted a Harris Georgopoulos try. The Red V then put the game beyond doubt and sealed their comeback in the final five minutes thanks to a James Schiller try.
St George Illawarra 28 (Budd, Georgopoulos, Hayburn, Muhleisen, Schiller tries; Muhleisen 4 goals) def. Manly 20 (Lawler 2, Oostendorp-Power, Palota-Kopa tries; Harris 2 goals) at Lottoland.
A strong second half from South Sydney helped them to a 14-point win over their arch rivals on Saturday afternoon in Redfern. The Roosters lead 12-4 after half an hour before two quick Rabbitohs tries five minutes before half time gave them a four-point lead. Debuting Souths’ winger Michael Mitsias bagged a double in the first half. South Sydney added three tries after the break and had the win all but sealed in the 61st minute when Thomas Ball crossed to extend his side’s lead to 18. A late consolation try to Roosters’ winger Corey Fenning then cut the final margin to 14.
South Sydney 30 (Mitsias 2, Ball, Bijorac, Hutchinson-Walters, Robinson tries; Ilias 3 goals) def. Sydney 16 (Fenning, M Graham-Taufa, Volkman tries; Fenning 2 goals) at Ironmark High Performance Centre.
Cronulla picked up their second straight win after a hard fought eight-point victory over Parramatta in Guildford. The Eels, playing their first game of the season, got off to a great start when Jayden Yates scored in the 8th minute. The Sharks hit back five minutes later through Franklin Pele and the sides preceded to trade tries before Cronulla levelled the scored through a penalty goal on the stroke of half time. The Eels jumped back in front just minutes into the second half thanks to a Jayden Skinner try before the Sharks regained the ascendancy. They scored three unanswered tries in 10 minutes to take the win and the competition points.
Cronulla 26 (Ernst, Parker, Pele, Pickering, Taumoepeau tries; Pickering 3 goals) def. Parramatta 18 (Skinner, Tohi, Yates tries; Schneider 3 goals) at McCredie Park.
|Top try scorers||Top point scorers|
|6||Thomas Jenkins (Penrith)||24||Thomas Jenkins (Penrith)|
|3||Ethan Clark-Wood (Penrith)||22||Niwhai Puru (Penrith)|
|3||Jordan Hill (Wests Tigers)||18||Connor Muhleisen (St George Illawarra)|
|2||Hanna-Jonathan El-Nachar (Penrith)||16||Corey Fenning (Sydney)|
|2||Kade Hill (Wests Tigers)||16||Kyle Pickering (Cronulla)|
|2||Lathan Hutchinson-Walters (South Sydney)||14||Jonah Pezet (Victoria)|
|2||Jamie Lawler (Manly)||14||Ben Stevanovic (Wests Tigers)|
|2||Michael Mitsias (South Sydney)||12||Bailey Biondi-Odo (Canterbury)|
|2||Jack Natapu (Victoria)||12||Ethan Clark-Wood (Penrith)|
|2||Kai Parker (Cronulla)||12||Jordan Hill (Wests Tigers)|