Matt Dufty has found himself in the NSW Cup after being dropped from NRL side the Bulldogs, while Maika Sivo’s reserve stint is set to come to an end.
A Manly enforcer put a ‘nervous’ wait behind him to finally get back on the pitch and an exciting outside back – who became a fan favorite after a trial match – stunned for Blacktown Workers.
Meanwhile, a stunning performance by a Warriors forward put pressure on coach Nathan Brown to call him up.
There were several standouts for the Eels, the grandson of a rugby league legend made his Cup debut and a late switch could indicate what’s to come for the Titans.
Read on for the latest stock quality wrap.
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ALL EYES WAS ON
Matt Dufty was a new face to the Bulldogs Cup squad and although he didn’t set the game on fire, he still contributed to their 20-16 win over the Knights with a try assist, a line jump pass, two tackle saves and 88 running yards. He also had five tackles with no misses.
David Nofoaluma spent another week in reserve class. The 28-year-old spent the first half on the right wing before switching to full-back after half-time. He ran 98 running yards to go with his try assist, line jump assists and six tackle busts, but struggled defensively. He was caught jamming his wing twice, opening the door for Rabbitohs winger Izaac Thompson to score two tries in five minutes.
Maika Sivo looks set to return to the NRL this week and his performance in the NSW Cup over the weekend certainly suggests he’s more than ready to return to the top tier.
The powerful winger scored a hat trick in the Eels’ 38-0 bombardment of the Gendarmerie. He also had four 4 line breaks and nine tackle busts as well as a stunning 252 yards run.
Manly accessory Taniela Paseka returned from a knee injury via feeder side Blacktown Workers and his presence – along with a few other practical additions – helped Blacktown secure their second win of the season.
Paseka played the entire first half and four minutes of the second half before earning an early rating. He finished with 118 yards rushed, two tackles and 15 tackles with two misses.
The 24-year-old later told the Sea Eagles website he was ‘a bit nervous’ ahead of the game but was happy to play ’40 straight minutes’ – something he doesn’t do. not usually in the NRL – to ‘get that’. match fitness.
Warriors coach Nathan Brown may consider making changes to his squad after Saturday’s horror performance against Manly and Eli Katoa raised his hand for an encore while playing for feeder side, the Dolphins.
Katoa appeared in 10 of the Warriors’ first 11 games but came on as a substitute in Round 12 and returned to the Queensland Cup last weekend.
It’s rare to see a striker go on FOUR tries, but the 110kg beast scored in the Dolphins’ 54-0 win over Ipswich and had three more tries. He also had a line break, two line break assists, three tackle jumps, four offloads and ran for 150 yards. Katoa also had 22 tackles but missed four times during his 80-minute effort.
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Dragons second rower billy burns spent a day against his former club, setting up two tries, getting three line breaks and five tackle saves while running for 159 yards in his side’s 26-22 win over Penrith.
Jayden Sullivan was dominant again as he set up a try, got a line break, a line break assist, two tackle busts and ran for 164 yards.
Meanwhile, Treigh Stewart improves every week. The young winger scored, got a line break, three tackle saves and ran for 197 yards for the Dragons.
J’maine Hopgood was impressive in a losing side and proved the Eels have picked up a good one after signing a two-year contract with the club from 2023.
Speaking of the Eels, there were several standouts in their victory over the Gendarmerie. Apart from Maika Sivoyoung half Jake Arthur, Jordan Rankin, Ky Rodwell and Wiremu Greig were impressive.
Arthur set up a try and scored 150 yards to go with his line-breaking assist and five tackle busts, while Rankin was busy – as always – with two try assists, three jumping assists from line, three tackle busts and 113 running yards.
But perhaps the biggest headaches for Constables were Rodwell, who was playing lock and Greig, a first rower who came off the bench.
Rodwell amassed 236 running yards and had 27 tackles with no misses, while Greig scored a try, got a line break, had five tackle busts and ran for 233 yards – 109 of those after contact.
Matt Dufty may have been the player to watch for the Dogs, but three of his teammates really stole the show. 18 year old center Paul Alamoti set up two trials, while Isaac Lumelume scored a try, got two line breaks and ran 197 yards.
Jackson Topin was once again all effort, finishing with 125 running yards, three tackle busts and 43 tackles with just one miss.
With the Tigers enjoying a goodbye, forward Alex Seyfarth returned to reserve grade and took advantage of his opportunity to play 80 minutes. Seyfarth set up a try, had a line break assist, five tackle busts and ran for a game-high 189 yards, while making 36 tackles with just one miss.
Jorge Taufua was back in the NSW Cup after a week in the NRL and did not kick during the demotion. The veteran fullback scored for Blacktown, had a line break, a line break assist and four tackle busts as well as 207 running yards.
Remember Ray Vega – the exciting manly training and trial winger who scored a hat-trick in a Test match and became a fan favorite with a wholesome post-match interview? He was in sensational form over the weekend, scoring one try, getting two line breaks and five tackle busts. He should have been given a second try but it was ruled a knockout – but replays showed it was a try. Vaega also steam-rolled a North Sydney Bear ahead of an Ethan Bullemor try and found a Jorge Taufua-style hit on another Bear.
The addition of Bullemor was a boost for Blacktown with the 22-year-old scoring a brace, running for 135 yards and getting a line break and three tackle busts.
On the other side of the field, Jordin Leiu put his atypical brain in the opening seconds behind him to put on a great performance for the Bears. Lieu got the timing wrong at kick-off and unfortunately grabbed the ball before going out…a minute and a half later Blacktown scored. But Leiu made up for it with his own try, a line break, four tackle busts and 170 running yards.
Titans feeder Burleigh gave fans something to smile about with a 64-16 thrashing of Storm feeder Brisbane Tigers and Josh Rogers had a day to remember scoring 32 of those points on his own. The five-eighth scored a hat-trick and had 10 conversions from 11 attempts. He also put up two more tries, got a line break, four line break assists, four tackle busts and 163 running yards.
The back of Burleigh Taine Tuaupiki also stood out with a try, three assists, three line breaks, a line break pass, three tackle jumps and 214 yards…but he won’t be the one to replace Jayden Campbell (more on that later) late).
Trai Fuller continues to defend his case for a full-time contract with the Dolphins next season. The 25-year-old backed up his 249m and 12 tackle effort from a fortnight ago with three tries, one assist, one line skip, two line skip passes, five tackle jumps and 242 yards currents in the Dolphins’ victory.
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Zac Fulton made his NSW Cup debut with Blacktown Workers this weekend. The grandson of the late Bob Fulton played lock and finished with 122 running yards and 28 tackles with two misses.
Paul Turn was a late withdrawal from Tweed’s clash with PNG Hunters, which could suggest he’s in line to replace injured Jayden Campbell this week.
Warriors new recruit Ronald Volkam played his first game for feeder side, Dolphins and finished with 72 running yards and three tackle busts at halfback.
The North Sydney Bears are going through a tough string of injuries right now. Reliable rear Josh Bergamin is expected to miss the next two months after sustaining an MCL injury, while the gun Tuku Hau Tapuha left the field early at the weekend with an ankle injury. Adam Keighran also has a finger injury but should be back this week. The 25-year-old center could have played last week but coach Jason Taylor decided not to risk it.