A rearranged Vodafone Warriors side slumped to its heaviest defeat of the New South Wales Cup season dropping today’s 21st-round clash 4-42 to the Mounties in Sydney.
The loss sees the Vodafone Warriors fall to sixth spot after going into the round sitting fifth on 27 points.
The cost of the loss came into even more brutal focus as other results from the round came through.
Third-placed Wests Tigers (28) and fourth-placed Wentworthville (28) both lost in upset results enabling the sixth-placed Mounties to leapfrog them as well as the Vodafone Warriors to climb all the way to third.
Had the Vodafone Warriors taken the contest they would have been second on 29 points pending the outcome of the match between Illawarra, currently second, and Newcastle tomorrow.
There was never much hope of such a result the way the Mounties took control of today’s encounter.
They had been eyeing the possibility of four wins on end but found the mission a bridge too far after being forced to reshuffle their line-up.
With the injured Solomone Kata, David Fusitu’a, Raymond Faitala-Mariner, Sam Lousi and Albert Vete all missing as well as Carlos Tuimavave on bereavement leave, the Vodafone Warriors were out-played from the get-go.
With early penalties and repeat sets the Mounties dominated possession, position and the scoreboard with three tries in the first 15 minutes. Three more followed before halftime for a 30-0 lead at the break.
They were 36-0 ahead early in the second half before the Vodafone Warriors had their only try after the Mounties were down to 12 men after a sinbinning.
Preventing a whitewash was giant forward Abraham Papalii, who was coming off a hat-trick against Manly last Sunday.
There was just one more try for the Mounties as the Vodafone Warriors kept the match much tighter in the second half but by then the damage had been done.
Another away match awaits the Vodafone Warriors next Saturday when they take on the Tigers.
Match details | Aubrey Keech Reserve, Sydney
Mounties 42 (Sami Sauiluma 2, Jeremy Hawkins 2, Ryan Carr, Lagi Setu, Jack Ahearn, Bill Tupou tries; Mitch Cornish 4 conversions; Joey Bond conversion).
Vodafone Warriors 4 (Abraham Papalii try).
Halftime: 30-0 Mounties.
Referee: Chris Treneman.
Vodafone Warriors: Steve Waetford (c); Ngataua Hukatai, Jarrod Tua, Dominique Peyroux, Ken Maumalo; Sam Cook, Jonathan Carl; Agnatius Paasi, Siliva Havili, Charlie-Paul Gubb; Upu Poching, Jayson Bukuya; John Palavi. Interchange: Abraham Papalii, David Bhana, Michael Sio, Sam Lisone.