Illawarra have continued their winning ways with a 40-18 victory over the Mounties in an Intrust Super Premiership grand final rematch at WIN Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Illawarra granted the visitors the first points of the afternoon when fullback Matt Dufty fumbled the ball in-goal which was then grounded by Mounties’ Reubenn Rennie.
After enduring countless defensive sets on their own line due to ill-discipline, Illawarra shifted momentum back their way when winger Izaac Thompson dove over in the corner after a nice backline shift.
Mounties hit back when Rennie crossed for his second of the afternoon though Illawarra responded soon after through Taane Milne, who dismissed several defenders to barge over the line.
The Mounties headed into half-time with a 12-10 lead.
Illawarra made an early statement in the first set of the second half when barnstorming forward Luciano Leilua burst through defenders to link with a runaway Matt Dufty.
Thompson soon followed suit when he ran in two second half tries, while Milne also secured his second try of the afternoon.
Young front-rower Josh Kerr continued to show his worth when he barged over for yet another try for the scarlet and whites.
Mounties’ Rennie grabbed his hat-trick in the shadows of full-time but a strong team performance saw Illawarra run out 22-point winners.
Illawarra 40 (Izaac Thompson 3, Taane Milne 2, Matt Dufty, Josh Kerr tries; Shaun Nona 6 goals) defeated Mounties 18 (Reubenn Rennie 3 tries; Isaac John 3 goals) at WIN Stadium, Wollongong. Half-time: Mounties 12-10.