Super League Round 4 Review


A surprise loss by Granville Rage, at home to Mount Druitt wasn?t enough to see them lose third spot, but the pack closed in with only three points separating the teams from third to tenth.
Fraser Park and Central Coast remain winless, and pointless, at the bottom of the table.
Match of the Round
Northern Tigers v Macarthur Rams
Northern Tigers will be kicking themselves for throwing away two points following Macarthur?s late equaliser which earned the Rams a 2-2 draw.
The Tigers seemingly had the game in their grasp during a dominant second half but spurned a number of chances which allowed Macarthur to sneak a goal with just three minutes left on the clock.
The Tigers had looked good for the money, taking a lead via the boot of Paul Davies, a firm strike on the run which gave Rams keeper Tommy Romic no chance.
But a lapse of concentration allowed Macarthur an equaliser from the penalty spot when Nils Hestermann committed a clumsy tackle in the box.
Alan de la Cuadra stepped up to nicely put the ball away, without any hesitancy.
It looked like it would be even at the break but for an own goal by Cole Tinkler, who, in his attempt to clear, could only push the ball the wrong side of the post.
But if it had been a fairly even first half, there was no doubt that the Tigers ruled the second.
They had two close chances, the first when a sliding Davies could not quite reach a Brendan Salameh cross and then Tom Spencer, likewise, just failed to connect to a Sungyun Park cross in almost identical circumstances.
But as so often happens, the failure to take the opportunities proved costly when substitute Sam Messam was able to pick up a through ball and skirt Stuart Page to give the Rams a share of the points.
Jason Eager was clearly disappointed at the final result.
?I thought we had enough opportunities to win the game but, as you know, you can get punished if you don?t take them?.
?We played well in patches, longer patches than in our other three games but it is disappointing to give away cheap goals?.
?Draws are no good for anyone and while we have no trouble scoring goals, we are letting in too many at the other end?.
But while Eager was disappointed, he still had good words for his two standouts.
?I thought Rhys Williams had a very good game and he worked with Paul Davies, interchanging well,? he finished.
Northern Tigers 2 (Paul Davies 34?, Cole Tinkler o.g. 45?) v Macarthur Rams 2 (Alan de la Cuadra pen 38?, Sam Messam 87?)
Date: 11 April 2010
Mills Park, Asquith
Referee: Murray Wilson
Assts: Greg McLachlan and Nathan Roberts
Northern Tigers: 1. Stuart Page 2. Travis Oughtred 3. Tom Geekie 5. Nils Hestermann 6. Paul Davies (c) 9. Michael Simmonds 10. Sungyun Park (17. Luke Tomich 83?)11. Danny Vukovic (7. Tom Spencer 75?) 12. Rhys Williams 14. Brendan Salameh 16. Steven Baveas.
Subs not used: 8. Andrew Christiansen 18. James Stubbs-Mills Rgk. Marc Messina.
Macarthur Rams: 1. Tommy Romic 2. Craig Cooley (c) 8. Felix Wilson 10. Chris Gomez 11. Cole Tinkler 12. Mitchell O?Keefe (27. Liam Scurr 58?) 14. Lennox Twenebaa 16. Amin Hadid (9. Sam Messam)18. Alvaro Malmierca (17. Daniel Cortez 70?) 19. Alan de la Cuadra 21. Callum Fleming.
Subs not used: 5. Prince Asamoah Rgk Brad Jones
PCYC Parramatta v FC Bossy 
The match up between the two league leaders went the way of the home side with PCYC Parramatta Eagles maintaining their 100% record with a 2-0 win over FC Bossy Liverpool.
Despite there being no goals at the break, it took only two minutes into the second half before Shayne Ardle broke the deadlock in a very tough game before the speedy Daniel Fogarty made sure of the win with ten minutes to go.
FC Bossy had few chances and it was a deserved win by Parramatta which now sees them three points clear at the top.
Coach Brian Dene explained the reasons for the good start.
?I think the reason why we are travelling so well is our discipline both on and off the park. We are very competitive but able to control our emotions?.
?We have a very good leader in Ben Delicata and with Matthew Clowes, Patrick Gatt and Daniel Borg also being very experienced, they are able to help the younger players like Daniel Fogarty and Kutaiba Elrich. These guys form our leadership group?.
?Against FC Bossy, it was very tough but we defended desperately, always putting bodies about. Anthony Costa was fantastic in goals and our back four was brilliant?.
He admitted though that next week against Spirit will be another tough test.
?We celebrated our win last night but today we immediately turned our focus to next week. It is another competitive game and we are not looking to revenge for the grand final loss last year. It was like against St George, a few weeks ago. We tried to ignore that we hadn?t taken a point of them in a couple of years and just treated it like any other game?.
Losing coach, Zlatko Nastevski had no complaints.
?We came out sleeping in the second half and conceded that early goal. But Parramatta were better on the day and were the stronger team?.
?I like the way they play and congratulated them on their win?.
PCYC Parramatta Eagles 2 (Shayne Ardle 47?, Daniel Fogarty 80?) v FC Bossy Liverpool 0
Dulwich Hill v Central Coast
There were goals galore at Arlington Oval, the majority going to the home side as Dully reversed their recent losses with a 4-2 win over Central Coast.
They got off the mark early when Tony Faria netted in the seventh minute, sidefooting in from twelve yards.
Norman Tome then got his first of the season, ten minutes later, when meeting a cross whipped in by Raphael Bove, to give the home side a comfortable early two goal lead.
Things didn?t improve after their break for the Lightning with Dully striker James Young scoring twice in the space of three minutes around the hour mark to make it 4-0.
It could even have been worse for the visitors too with Dulwich Hill hitting the post twice and bar once, making things look very ominous for the Coast.
But the Lightning did recover slightly, salvaging some pride when firstly, Mitchell Harper and then captain Jamie Lobb, scored in the final ten minutes.
Mark Strachan, coach of the victors, was reasonably content.
?I am happy with the result but we actually played better last week and lost. We did lose a bit of rhythm towards the end and gave away a couple of cheap goals.?
?I had to make a couple of changes and we lost our momentum then and became a bit casual?.
?But in terms of the three points, very happy with that?.
Dulwich Hill 4 (Tony Faria 7?, Norman Tome 17?, James Young 59?, 61?) v Central Coast Lightning 2 (Mitchell Harper 80?, Jamie Lobb 89?)
Sydney University v St George
As has been the case in recent seasons between these two sides, there was nothing in it, but the single goal by St George was enough for the nominal away side to take the three points at St George Stadium.
This was a tight affair and clear cut goal chances were kept to a minimum, especially in a first half where the keepers were largely untroubled. Two of the better chances saw an early Ryo Maekawa effort cleared off the line for St George while Michael Dowling?s flying header was just over for Uni.
The best opportunities in the second half did fall the way of St George with Arthur Diles? direct fee kick being deflected for a corner while Reuben Lagos had a great chance when he had a clear sight on goal but blasted over.
It always seemed that one goal would be enough for either side to take the points and it was a piece of superb skill by Maekawa which ensured that the points went the way of St George. Maekawa turned his defender inside out before striking across goal into the far side, beating Jonathan Faerber who had little time to adjust.
Uni almost equalised in the dying moments but a double save by Daniel Nash ensured that the Students were left empty handed by game?s end.
Nick Orlic, coach of St George, was content with the performance and points, emphasizing that his team is trying to return to the level of last year.
?We are trying to play like last season and to play to our strengths. We want to get the fundamentals right and improve week by week.?
?It is a good thing that we kept a clean sheet which is our second time this season but not something we did well last year?.
St George welcomed to first grade both Arthur Diles and Ivo de Jesus for the first time this season and Orlic acknowledged that their experience does make a difference.
?They do provide that experience. It must be remembered that our squad is young with a few just out of the Under 20s. But they (Diles and de Jesus) still need a couple of weeks?.
By contrast, Uni coach John Caruana, was left disappointed by the result.
?I thought we did OK in the first half but we really didn?t respect the ball. We panicked a bit but to our credit, we kept working?.
?It was a tight game between two very well drilled sides but credit to St George, they were picking up the ball well. And it took a great goal to win?.
Sydney University 0 v St George 1 (Ryo Maekawa 64?)
Granville Rage v Mount Druitt 
There was action aplenty at Garside Park, not all of it to the Rage?s liking. While Granville officially opened the new facilities at their home ground, it was on the field that things fell apart.
As early as the tenth minute, they were reduced to ten men when Nenos Bobo was straight redcarded for kicking out during a tackle, leaving the Rage with a seemingly uphill battle for eighty minutes.
Mount Druitt, who came home with a wet sail last weekend, scored twice in quick succession just before half time to have a two goal buffer heading into the break.
The goals, by Ralfiv Hirmiz and Wand Jajaw, could have been expected to kill off the Rage, with the goal by Jajaw, particularly, being expertly taken after charging from half way, beating three defenders and letting fly.
But a send off to Michael Noro of the Rangers, for a second yellow card in the 53rd minute, brought the game back to 10 v 10.
A penalty by Pat Carpuccio, not long after, reduced the deficit and set the scene for a barnstorming recovery. It was timely penalty with Granville already having missed one earlier after Rangers keeper Nick Jelic had saved brilliantly.
But the Rangers did enough to hang on and a red card to Nathan Rivera, very late in the piece, sealed the result.
Gilbert Yalda, the winning coach, was extremely happy but also mindful of Granville?s lack of numbers, after the early send off.
?We had a good win and I believe, deservedly so. But I am not going to say that we outplayed them?.
?Granville are the best side that I have seen this year and had it been 11 v 11, things may have been a little different. They have some very good midfielders and they move the ball around well?.
?It was a very, very physical game but we managed to get on top of them?.
Granville Rage 1 (Pat Carpuccio pen 56?) v Mount Druitt 2 (Rafilv Hirmiz 42?, Wand Jajaw 45?)
Fraser Park v Spirit FC
Four goals in the opening twenty minutes but none thereafter was how the match panned out at Fraser Park as Spirit FC moved ominously into fourth spot with a 3-1 win.
Stuart Meney after just five minutes got the ball rolling and then Ben Gough, with his fourth of the season made it two.
It was a bad start for Fraser but a penalty by Alex Smith reduced the arrears just four minutes later. But any hopes that things may turn in their favour was extinguished when Daniel Cunningham converted after a further penalty was awarded for a foul on Leo Papanicoloau.
Jason van Blerk stated: ?It was a good performance, especially in the first half. We came out of the gates really quick and while the second half was not as good, I am very pleased to get our second win?.
Fraser Park 1 (Alex Smith pen 15?) v Spirit FC 3 (Stuart Meney 5?, Ben Gough 11?, Daniel Cunningham pen 19?)
-By Peter Rowney