Rep Weekend wrap - Saturday
The Cronulla Sharks supplied a handful of players over the three matches on Saturday with all producing efforts they can be proud of.
Valentine Holmes and his Junior Kangaroos side held on to defeat the Junior Kiwis 22-20 in a thriller, Jayson Bukuya captained his Fiji team to a 22-10 victory over Papua New Guinea, while Ricky Leutele and his Samoan teammates defeated a Tongan side featuring Sosaia Feki and Pat Politoni by 18-16.
The Junior Kangaroos kicked off the huge evening of Rugby League at CBUS Stadium in what was a nail-biting finish to an exciting contest.
Brilliant all-round games from Man of the Match Tepai Moeroa of the Eels and Broncos halfback Ashley Taylor proved to be the difference as the Kangaroos held off a late charge from the Trans-Tasman rivals.
It was Holmes however who produced a moment of magic 90 seconds from the interval with a stunning solo try.
Being ushered towards the right touchline, Holmes dropped the ball to his boot and chipped ahead.
Although the kick looked too heavy of the boot, the crafty winger persisted with the chase.
The ball bounced back off its point to sit favorably for Holmes who won the race to ground the ball and give the Junior Roos a four point lead at half-time.
Both teams traded the lead throughout the second half until a Holmes penalty, followed by a match-winning try to Moeroa, secured the Junior Kangaroos a 22-20 victory.
In the second match of the day, Bukuya’s Fiji side went into their match against Papua New Guinea as heavy favorites.
Boasting a superior amount of NRL experienced players than their opponents, Fiji proved too classy for a spirited PNG side who produced a late-surge only to fall short of the mark.
Bukuya opened the scoring in the 20th minute, finishing off a clever piece of play down the Fijian right edge.
From then on, the Fijians dominated and refused to relinquish the lead to their opponents.
Marika Koroibete produced a match-winning effort for the Fijian side, crossing the try line twice in the first-half in giving his side an 18-0 lead at the break.
The Kumuls produced a spirited effort in the second half however they were unable to break down the Fijian side as they eventually went down by 12 points.
In the final match the night, Samoa and Tonga faced off in front of a vocal crowd, producing what was a fantastic spectacle for those in attendance.
Leutele featured on the Samoan right-edge and linked up well with Broncos winger Daniel Vidot.
For the Tongan side, in-form winger Feki and Newtown Jets dummy-half Politoni were both a part of the run on team
It was Samoa who controlled much of the gripping Pacific Test, however the Tongan side pushed the fourth-ranked Rugby League nation the full length of the contest.
In the dying minutes of the match, Tonga were peppering the Samoan try line in an attempt to secure the match-winning try however just as Jorge Taufua set to score, a torpedo-like Sam Kasiano blocked the Manly wingers path and secured the Samoan victory.
Congratulations to all Sharks players involved in representative football on Saturday.
Junior Kangaroos 22
Valentine Holmes try
Junior Kiwis 20
Match Highlights - Jnr Roos v Jnr Kiwis - CLICK HERE
Jayson Bukuya try
Match Highlights - FIji-PNG - CLICK HERE
Match Highights - Samoa-Tonga - CLICK HERE