Former Howick Hornets player Benaiah Ioelu’s Central Coast Roosters have managed their second win for the season in dramatic fashion after the hooker scored a first half hat-trick in the opening 20 minutes of play against Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
Ioelu, who turned 17 today, moved to the Central Coast, New South Wales, in January and is playing in the NSWRL’s junior representative competition.
Ioelu scored the opener in the fourth minute when he crashed over beneath the posts before the Bulldogs hit the front through five-eighth Brooklyn Taumata.
The lead was short-lived as Ioelu crossed the line on two more occasions with an additional two of three conversions from No.6 Haydan Ritchie bringing the halftime deficit to 16-6.
The Bulldogs staged a late fightback with tries for Taumata and second row forward Lajuan Vito in the final 11 minutes but Central Coast held on for the two-point win to remain undefeated in the 2021 UNE Harold Matthews Cup.
Ioelu returns at the end of the first school term.