After a long summer, the 2023 Jersey Flegg Cup season kicked off over the weekend with impressive wins from Cronulla and the Roosters, while reigning premiers Penrith won in dramatic fashion over Melbourne.

Canterbury Bulldogs 36 – 24 Manly Sea Eagles
11 tries were scored in a free-flowing affair at Brookvale in which the lead changed seven times. Rampaging prop Isaac Matalavea-Booth brought his Colts form to Jersey Flegg with two tries on debut for the Bulldogs.

Canterbury 36 (I Matalavea-Booth 2, H Hayes, T Johannssen, S Kanaan, J O’Neill tries; E Clark 6 goals) def. Manly 24 (K Mafoa 2, C Brown, J Russell, J Uesele tries; C Brown, H Wilson goals) at 4 Pines Park.

Stat sheet
Manly: Caleb Navale – 26 tackles; James Uesele – 175 run metres; Kylan Mafoa – 2 line breaks
Canterbury: Lachlan Vale – 26 tackles; Samuel Kanaan – 150 run metres; Isaac Matalavea-Booth – 2 line breaks

Debuts: Nathaniel Bakon, Connor Cromarty, Kylan Mafoa, Daniel O’Donnell, Brayden Ottmann, Cruz Smith*, Unaloto Uasi, Harradyn Wilson* (Manly); Samuel Inoke*, Isaac Matalavea-Booth*, Tyrone Nean (Canterbury)
*Previously played Colts

Canberra Raiders 20 – 14 Parramatta Eels
The Raiders opened their campaign with a six-point win over Parramatta, showing some resolute defence throughout. Utuloa Asomua, a regular for Canberra’s NSW Cup side in 2022, marked his Jersey Flegg debut with a try.

Canberra 20 (U Asomua, J Billing, P Esera, T Kiriona tries; N Ryan 2 goals) def. Parramatta 14 (J Davis, L Feterika, B Newlands tries; T Williams goal) at Kellyville Park.

Stat sheet
Parramatta: Brock Parker – 28 tackles, 183 run metres
Canberra: Toby Thorburn – 29 tackles; Utuloa Asomua – 205 run metres

Debuts: Jock BrazelLene FeterikaWilliam Latu*, Beau NewlandsNoah ReedMax Tupou (Parramatta); Utuloa AsomuaJack HartwigJacob Piper (Canberra)
*Previously played Colts

Penrith Panthers 28 – 22 Melbourne Storm
A late try to Panthers’ backrower Aston Warwick spoiled Melbourne’s first Jersey Flegg game under the Storm banner. Penrith showed why they’re the reigning champs, erasing a 14-point lead to win the game.

Penrith 28 (A Warwick 2, L Ison, C Lawson, B Moore tries; R Smith 4 goals) def. Melbourne 22 (M Hill 2, J Chan, S Faalogo tries; K Russell-Smith 2, J Pezet goals) at BlueBet Stadium.

Stat sheet
Penrith: Sunita Lotoaniu – 21 tackles; John Sagaga – 147 run metres; Aston Warwick – 2 line breaks
Melbourne: Jayden Weir – 28 tackles; Sualauvi Faalogo – 123 run metres, 2 line breaks

Debuts: Blake Moore*, Luke Philp*, Adam RunchelRiley Wake (Penrith); Joe ChanAngus Hinchey*, Matthew Hill*, Stanley HuenMitchell JenningsTevita PeteloGabriel SatrickChe Te RangiJordan Wilson (Melbourne)
*Previously played Colts

Cronulla Sharks 24 – 6 South Sydney Rabbitohs
Cronulla started their season with an 18-point win over South Sydney. The Sharks missed the finals by a point last season, while the Rabbitohs’ losing streak extends to 11 in 2023.

Cronulla 24 (L Crouch, S Healey, M Riolo, T Waitere tries; M Riolo 4 goals) def. South Sydney 6 (L Grossemy try; J Nohra goal) at PointsBet Stadium.

Stat sheet
Cronulla: Sam Healey – 31 tackles; Lachlan Crouch – 208 run metres
South Sydney: Louis Grossemy – 34 tackles; Carson Kaho – 154 run metres

Debuts: Kristian DixonBen LavenderMax RioloTe Wehi WaitereKobie Wilson (Cronulla); Samuel JinksJude Saldanha*, Charles Vaka (South Sydney)
*Previously played Colts

Sydney Roosters 26 – 16 Wests Tigers
Last season’s minor premiers, the Roosters, got their year off to a strong start with a 10-point win over the Tigers at Leichhardt.

Sydney 26 (I Guba 2, O Flaherty, A Holten, M Robinson tries; T Colley 3 goals) def. Wests Tigers 16 (J Anjoul, J Owen, S Vaihu tries; Z Camroux 2 goals) at Leichhardt Oval.

Stat sheet
Wests Tigers: Cayne Nicholas – 33 tackles; Compton Fuatimau – 136 run metres
Sydney: Max McCathie – 29 tackles; Owen Flaherty – 139 run metres; Isaac Guba – 2 line breaks

Debuts: Bailey HodgesCody KelsoNaati TeaupaKienan TempestHerman Tofaeono (Wests Tigers); Angus FaheyOwen FlahertyIsaac GubaMatua Robinson* (Sydney)
*Previously played Colts

Round 1 Highlights:–round-one/

Click HERE for the Jersey Flegg Cup ladder

Round 2
11 March Parramatta Eels v Cronulla Sharks New Era Stadium View
11 March St George Illawarra Dragons v Canterbury Bulldogs Collegians Sports Centre View
11 March Penrith Panthers v South Sydney Rabbitohs BlueBet Stadium View
11 March Melbourne Storm v Manly Sea Eagles AAMI Park View
12 March Wests Tigers v Newcastle Knights Leichhardt Oval View
12 March Canberra Raiders v Sydney Roosters Raiders Belconnen View


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