An 80th-minute field goal from the boot of halfback Paul Momirovski has seen the Wyong Roos to a dramatic 25-24 win over the Newtown Jets in the sides’ Round 1 clash at Morry Breen Oval.
Leading from near-start to finish, the Roos looked likely to settle for a draw when the Jets drew level courtesy of a late penalty goal – though the newly-appointed half ensured the hosts took both competition points with his ice-cool finish at the death.
The late one-pointer broke the deadlock in the match where both sides each scored four tries – the first courtesy of Wyong fullback Luke Sharpe.
It took little time for the 2017 Intrust Super Premiership NSW Fullback of the Year to show why he earned the mantle of last year’s best No. 1, slicing through the Jets’ middle to register Wyong’s first points in the third minute of play.
Collecting a loose ball in centre-field, Sharpe weaved his way past defenders and towards the line, leaving opposition fullback Will Kennedy clutching at air as he crossed for the afternoon’s opening try.
Noted sharp-shooter Josh Mantellato made no mistake adjacent to the uprights, taking the Roos out to an early 6-0 front.
Not deterred having conceded points, Kennedy and the Jets responded in kind – the fleet-footed fullback finishing off a well-worked backline shift to touch down in the corner.
Jets halfback Jesse Marschke failed to add the extra two, as the score remained 6-4 to the Roos.
In a tit-for-tat opening quarter, Lindsay Collins extended the hosts’ lead to eight as he scored the Roos' second, before Kennedy bagged an early double in razzle-dazzle fashion.
Still the sides continued to trade blows leading into the half-time break, though it was the Roos who would head into the sheds with an 18-10 advantage; interchange forward Ben Thomas collected a deft kick from captain Mitch Williams to plant Wyong’s third try in the 33rd minute of play.
Upon the resumption, Jets hooker Blayke Brailey snuck his way past defenders to score under the posts, Marschke nailing the ensuing shot on goal from in front of the uprights to lessen the deficit to two.
Close, but never close enough, the Jets again were forced to gather behind their line when Roos centre Matt Ikavalu powered his way over from close to the line. Mantellato maintained his perfect afternoon from the tee, with the Roos holding a comfortable eight-point lead with 27 minutes to play.
Not to hold up their hands in defeat, the gallant Jets found late hope as lock forward Jack Williams busted through to score.
The Jets had looked to have salvaged a late point as Marschke sent a 76th-minute penalty goal sailing between the posts, before a penalty in the dying stages sent the Roos deep into field goal territory.
Cleverly so, the Roos worked into the perfect position to slot the match-winning field goal – Momirovski holding his nerve in the pressure moment to see the Roos to the opening-round success.