MOUNT Warrigal have successfully retained their Group Seven third grade premiership, after defeating Wreck Bay 28-18 at the Collegians Sporting Complex on Sunday.
The reigning premiers opened the match’s scoring in the third minute, following a costly knock-on by Bears fullback Will Ray.
After being gifted strong field position, the Kooris spread it to the left, where the dangerous Dylan Riggs dived over.
Five-eighth Ronald Gatt failed in his conversion attempt from close to the left sideline, as the score was 4-nil.
That lead was short-lived, as the Bears made an error off the restart.
The Bears made the most of being deep inside the Kooris territory, when Craig Paku broke off the back of the scrum and put Ray over the score net to the sticks.
Tyson Alcorn missed the easy conversion, as the scores were tied 4-all.
Coming out of their own end, the Kooris regained the lead in the 13th minute, when fullback Riggs caught an offload from Jared Stewart, stepped past his opposite number Ray and ran 50 metres to score.
Gatt converted from right in front, as the Kooris led 10-4.
Once again the Bears hit back – this time James Presland pounced on the loose ball, following an Alcorn cross field bomb, to score in the 23rd minute.
Alcorn made no mistake with his second conversion, locking it up at 10-all.
Just before the break, the Kooris took the lead for the third time.
After forcing a drop-out, the constant pressure from Mount Warrigal eventually saw an overlap created down the right side, with winger Tye West placing it down with his right hand.
Gatt failed to convert from the sideline, as the Kooris led by four – which is how it remained until half-time.
Two minutes after the resumption, the Kooris extended their lead when Stewart strolled over – a try which was converted by Gatt, for 20-10.
Just when it looked like the Kooris were going to run away with it, the Bears hit back through the rampaging Craig Paku – who palmed off three defenders to score in the left corner.
Alcorn’s conversion was waved away, as the Kooris still led by six, with just 20 minutes to play.
With 15 minutes to play, the Kooris gave themselves a cushion when co-captain Nathan Austin barged over from close range.
Gatt failed to convert and the Kooris’ lead was 10.
The match was sealed for the Kooris when winger West scored his second of the day, after an overlap was created to the right.
Gatt failed in his sideline conversion attempt, as the Kooris led 28-14 with four minutes to play.
In the dying moments, Bears’ Josh Pender and Kooris’ Nickolas Te Ahuru were sin-binned for an altercation before Leigh Ardler scored a late consolation try for Wreck Bay.
Alcorn’s missed conversion attempt saw the score finish 28-18 to Mount Warrigal.
In the win, the Kooris were best served by man of the match Riggs, Stewart and Austin, while Paku, Rivar Roberts and Ardler did all the could for the Bears.