Patrician Brothers Blacktown centre Sunia Turuva scored the match-sealing try to give his side a 22-16 win over Westfields Sports High in the Southern Conference final of the NRL Schoolboy Cup on Wednesday.
With his side ahead by just two points inside the final four minutes of the match at Leichhardt Oval, Turuva did it all himself. He got back up off the ground at one stage before crossing for the decisive four-pointer.
Prior to Turuva’s heroics, a strong display by the Blacktown school’s forward pack set the platform. The win was the school’s eighth NSW/Southern Conference title.
After both sides showed some early nerves, Patrician Brothers were first to find their feet.
Prop David Langi was denied a try after ruled to have committed a double movement in the 10th minute.
After a drinks break midway through the opening term, the Blacktown school opened the scoring.
Winger Kristian-Li Mai scored following a superb individual effort. He beat three Westfields defenders before carrying another three over the line.
That lead didn’t last long, however, with the inability of the Patrician Brothers side to gather the ball from the restart punished when highly-rated fullback Carson Kaho sliced through to score.
The last five minutes of the first half belonged to Patrician Brothers.
After five-eighth Samuel Loizou kicked a penalty goal, back-rower Jontay Junior Betham scored a barnstorming try. Loizou’s sideline conversion gave his side a 12-4 lead at the break.
Westfields started strongly after the break, with Solomone Saukuru charging over less than five minutes after play resumed.
Patrician Brothers fullback Sean Russell burst onto the ball and scored with 14 minutes remaining to give his side a six-point lead. When Loizou extended the lead to 18-10 with a penalty goal, the team in blue and yellow looked to be home.
Westfields had other ideas, and when Joshua Parke scored next to the posts, his side trailed 18-16 with six minutes remaining.
Turuva’s late heroics kick-started jubilant scenes for the Patrician Brothers team.