Hot second half show brings victory
A second half scoring spree netting 22 points in as many minutes carried the Vodafone Junior Warriors to an impressive 32-16 win over Parramatta in their 13th-round Jersey Flegg Cup encounter at Ringrose Park in Sydney on Saturday.
The Vodafone Junior Warriors went into their third consecutive away match on the back of three straight losses, their most recent a heavy 14-36 defeat by Manly-Warringah a week earlier.
There were early signs of hope when fullback Kayal Iro scored his eighth try of the season with centre Carlos Henry adding another near halftime but three strikes by the Eels had them leading 16-10 at the break.
That would be it for Parramatta. The home side wouldn’t score again as the Vodafone Junior Warriors lit up to produce their best performance of the season – at both ends of the field – in claiming their third win and their first on the road.
A run of four tries was ignited by centre Patrick Elia to trim the score-line to 14-16 before a stunning finish saw the Vodafone Junior Warriors gather three more tries in the space of eight minutes, the first by Tom Ale and then an Edward Kosi double.
The win lifted the Vodafone Junior Warriors within three points of the top eight in a season in which they’ve been close to victory in three matches, losing one match by one point, another by four and another by six.
While sitting further down the ladder they boast the seventh best defensive record in the competition.
The Ricky Henry-coached side is finally back on home soil next weekend for a 14th-round battle against the highly-placed Sydney Roosters at QBE North Harbour Stadium next Saturday (1.00pm kick-off).
It will be the Vodafone Junior Warriors’ first home game since their 10-16 eighth-round loss to Cronulla at QBE North Harbour Stadium on April 28.
At Ringrose Park, Sydney
Parramatta Eels 16 (Haze Dunster, Ayden Carling, Nicholas Okladnikov tries; Todd Sapienza 2 conversions).
Vodafone Junior Warriors 32 (Edward Kosi 2, Kayal Iro, Carlos Henry, Patrick Elia, Tom Ale tries; Eiden Ackland 3 conversions, penalty).
Halftime: 16-10 Eels.
Referee: Billy Greatbatch.
Vodafone Junior Warriors | Kayal Iro; Harley Maynard, Patrick Elia, Carlos Henry, Elijah Sufia; Dakohta Taimani, Eiden Ackland; Preston Riki, Lewis Sio, Wesley Veikoso; Brody Tamarua, Tyler Slade (c); Tom Ale. Interchange: Edward Kosi, Richard Toa’i, Graeme Patu-Vaega’au, Sione Tuipulotu.