Both reserve grade contests have begun, and the latest rounds of play have not disappointed.
The first game of the round in the NSW Cup saw Parramatta defeat the defending champions Penrith 22-16, with a Bunnies NRL regular playing a key role in the victory over the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles.
The Raiders beat the Knights 20-18, and the North Sydney Bears defeated the Western Suburbs Magpies 36-26 with to a triple trick from Toa Mata’afa.
In the Q Cup, Max Lehmann and the Brisbane Tigers defeated Morea Morea and the PNG Hunters 38-36 in Port Moresby, while the Burleigh Bears thrashed Redcliffe 36-10 and the Townsville Blackhawks narrowly defeated the Cutters on the road.
Toby Sexton and Thomas Weaver
Toby Sexton and Thomas Weaver may both receive a start for the Gold Coast due to a slew of injuries in critical positions.
Titans have a bye week next week, although they lost to the Cowboys in Round 4, and three players were injured: AJ Brimson, Kieran Foran, and hooker Sam Verrills.
Sexton’s link play with Thomas Weaver tore through the opposition for the Tweed Seagulls in the first half, leading to half of the team’s 32 points in their triumph over the Norths Devils.
Despite a late rally by the Devils, the home team held on for a 32-26 victory thanks to four try assists from Weaver, a four-pointer, and near-perfect kicking from Sexton.
As Deine Mariner stole the show with four tries, Kobe Hetherington made a strong return from injury to help the Seagulls beat the Ipswich Jets 50-6.
Hetherington played lock for over an hour after returning from a ruptured bicep he sustained during Broncos training last season.
He led his team in rushing with 181 yards, including 83 after contact, and he led his defense with 25 tackles.
“Obviously I want to get back in the NRL side,” Hetherington said after the game.
I’m going to keep trying my hardest until I’m back where I belong.
On Sunday, the Newtown Jets cruised to a 30-16 victory over the Dragons behind an unstoppable performance from Thomas Hazleton.
Despite the massive prop’s 189 meters, three linebreaks, and 10 tackle busts, St. George Illawarra still went winless in 2023. He displayed a clean pair of heels when he raced through from 30 meters out to score the first of a double.
South Sydney beat the Sea Eagles 26-12 thanks in large part to Blake Taffee’s stellar performance at five-eighth.
In a close first half, he kicked a penalty goal and then broke through the line to put up Richard Kennar for a goal in the corner.
But, in the second half, he made the two decisive plays, first by setting up Tom Carr’s touchdown with a short pass and then by scoring a try of his own thanks to some brilliant individual play.
The spark plug ended the game with a try, two assists, 10 points on the boot, and 141 meters.
Overall, Round 4 of the NRL reserve grade competitions – the NSW Cup and QLD Cup – featured some outstanding performances by a range of players. Toby Sexton and Thomas Weaver were impressive in their win for the Tweed Seagulls, leading the team to a 32-26 victory with Sexton’s four-pointer and Weaver’s four try assists.
Kobe Hetherington also made a strong return from injury, contributing to the Seagulls’ 50-6 win over the Ipswich Jets. Meanwhile, Thomas Hazleton put on an unstoppable performance for the Newtown Jets, racking up 189 meters, three line breaks, and 10 tackle busts in a 30-16 win over the Dragons.
Finally, Blake Taaffe played a key role in South Sydney’s 26-12 win over the Sea Eagles, with a try, two assists, 10 points on the boot, and 141 meters. These players have shown their skills and potential, and could make an impact in the NRL if given the opportunity. Keep an eye on them for your rugby betting picks.