By Chloe Olivian
The Wentworthville Magpies held on to beat the Cronulla Sharks 30-28 at Henson Park last Saturday afternoon.
The Sharks dominated the opening 30 minutes of the game but the Magpies hit back with two quick tries to get back in the game.
Sione Masima opened the scoring for the Sharks after 14 minutes from a kick to give the Sharks a 6-0 lead after Travis Robinson converted.
The Cronulla Sharks went further ahead when Scott Sorensen crossed just three minutes later.
Wentworthville opened their campaign in the 22nd minute when Ryan Matterson scored before Masima went over for his second try in the 27th minute. Robinson’s conversion saw the Sharks leading 18-4.
The injection of Ben Jones for Wentworthville saw them spark into life with John Folau scoring in the corner in the 34th minute after a number of handling errors from the Sharks gave Wenty plenty of chances to score. Api Pewhairangi couldn’t convert from out wide, leaving the scores at 18-8.
Just before half-time, Jones combined to send Justin Hunt in the clear and he passed for Ryan Morgan to race over for the try. Hunt took over the goal-kicking duties and he was spot on with the kick to make it 18-14 at half-time.
The early stages of the second half was an even battle before Wentworthville piled on two tries in three minutes to lead 24-18. The first came in the 56th minute through Vai Toutai before Justin Hunt crossed soon after to give the Magpies the lead for the first time in the game.
The Sharks levelled up in the 63rd minute when Masima recorded his third try of the game. Robinson kicked the extras and it was all square at 24-all.
But more handling errors from the Cronulla Sharks saw the Wentworthville Magpies back in front when Matterson scored his second try of the game. Hunt kicked his third goal from as many attempts to make the scoreline 30-24.
With 11 minutes remaining, Jacob Gagan scored for the Sharks but Robinson failed to kick the goal leaving the Magpies hanging on to a two point lead.
The win by Wentworthville saw them remain in outright first place. They have a tough assignment this weekend when they do battle with second-placed Illawarra Cutters at Pirtek Stadium.
The Cronulla Sharks will look to bounce back when they take on the Wests Tigers at Remondis Stadium.
Wentworthville Magpies 30 (R Matterson 2, J Hunt, J Folau, R Morgan, V Toutai tries; J Hunt 3 goals) def. Cronulla Sharks 28 (S Masima 3, J Gagan, S Sorensen tries; T Robinson 4 goals) at Henson Park.