Victoria’s North West Wolves defeated a combined Central Districts Roosters squad 46-36 in the Under 16s (Youth Grade) at Hanson Reserve on Saturday afternoon.
Due to the warm conditions, 15 minute quarters were played and allowed for a fast-paced and high-scoring contest.
Wolves were first on the scoreboard with a solid run from fullback Tim Wakawaka setting up hooker Junior Teroi for a try. A successful conversion by Captain Liam Christensen made the score 6-0 after seven minutes of play.
A big kick-off from Roosters five-eighth Joel Burke forced a 20 metre drop-out by the Wolves. The Roosters capitalised on this with a clever kick again by Burke that saw fullback Tylor Black collect the ball and score. A successful conversion by Burke levelled the scores at 6-all.
Minutes later, an unsuccessful penalty kick by the Wolves kept the scores locked at quarter time.
Roosters opened strongly in the second quarter with Burke side-stepping Wolves defenders and sprinting 50 metres to score. Another successful conversion by Burke gave Roosters the lead 12-6.
Wolves were quick to retaliate with Captain Ia Mika pushing through Roosters defence to score. Another successful conversion by Christensen levelled the scores at 12-all after five minutes of play.
Wolves five-eighth Mario Salima scored the next two tries from impressive passages of play. Successful conversions by Christensen made the score 24-12 Wolves way.
Seconds before halftime, a Roosters scrum metres from their try-line saw front-rower Mika Mapuna score under the posts.
Leading 24-18 at halftime, Wolves continued attacking with Wakawaka gaining his side 40 metres. Crafty footwork and a quick offload by Teroi set-up winger Sala Taula to score in the corner.
Roosters mirrored this passage of play with Mapuna gaining his side 40 metres and Black following-up this effort with a 30 metre sprint and side-step of Wolves defenders to score.
The margin back to six points, Wolves worked the ball forward and scored two more tries before three-quarter time.
Trailing 42-24, Roosters did not give up as an offload by centre Jamie Walding resulted in Mapuna scoring his second try for the game.
Wolves bit back with another magnificent offload by Teroi that saw Wakawaka sprint 50 metres down the line and score. An unsuccessful conversion made the score 42-30 Wolves way.
Minutes remaining in the game, Roosters Burke displayed his impressive footwork once again and scored under the posts. A successful conversion by Burke made the final score 46-36 Wolves way.
Best on ground was Wolves hooker Junior Teroi who scored one try and played an attacking game. Other standout players were Roosters five-eighth Joel Burke who scored two tries and six conversions, fullback Tylor Black who scored two tries, and Wolves fullback Tim Wakawaka who scored one try, and front-rower James O’Meara who played a solid all round game.