Magpies V Bears - VB NSW Cup Rd 17
By Lars Roy at Ringrose Park
The Wentworthville Magpies have toppled last placed North Sydney Bears on Sunday at Ringrose Park, with a convincing 56-16 victory.
After a physical opening exchange from both sides, Wentworthville capitalised on back-to-back penalties through front rower, Taniela Lasalo, who crossed close to the line for their first try.
Lasalo was instrumental early and provided strong carries and skilful offloads. This allowed Wentworthville to isolate North Sydney’s middle defenders and gain quick play-the-balls as a result.
The Wenty big man was one of four Magpies to bag doubles alongside, Bureta Faraimo, Henry Raiwalui and Api Pewhairangi.
Four minutes later, a left edge attacking raid from Wentworthville saw 19-year-old, Tepai Moeroa, score a try in his VB NSW Cup debut, bumping up their lead to two converted tries only eight minutes in.
North Sydney managed to stem Wentworthville’s flow of points, through veteran winger, Curtis Johnston and then through captain, Matt Hyland, in the set after points.
With Aldridge kicking one from two, North Sydney was only trailing by two points, until Wentworthville hit back with a flurry of tries, all being converted by Hooker, Liam Foran.
With the score at 30 points to 10, and a blow out on the cards, North Sydney’s, Mark O’Dare, made a brave decision to leave his wing and attempt an intercept. Fortunately for the Bears this paid off, as he raced the better part of 60 metres to score.
After being the victims of a high scoring first half, the Bears were still in reaching distance, trailing by only 14 at the break.
They started the second half extremely poorly however, gifting Wentworthville with possession through one incomplete set after another.
Wentworthville winger, Bureta Faraimo, scored the first try of the half and his second of the day nine minutes after the break.
With his 16th try for the season, Faraimo passed Marika Koroibete as the VB NSW Cup’s leading try scorer for 2014.
The second half was all the Magpies, shutting out the Bears 26-0 on the back of smart play from Liam Foran.
Foran was key in getting his forwards on the advantage line and turning around the Bears with pin-point kicking.
He found the ground on every occasion and managed to force three goal line drop-outs, including one from a kick inside his own 40 metre line and another from just over halfway.
To make matters worse for the Bears, second rower, Josh Toole, had to be assisted off the field by medical staff late in the match, after he injured his knee.
Overall, North Sydney’s head coach, Wayne Lambkin, will have a lot to address this week as they’ll need to improve significantly if they want to beat a third placed Wests Tigers at North Sydney Oval on the weekend.
Wentworthville will make the trip across the ditch to take on the New Zealand Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium who will be fresh from the bye.
Wentworthville Magpies 56 (H Raiwalui 2, T Lasalo 2, B Faraimo 2, A Pewhairangi 2, D Howard, T Moeroa tries; L Foran 6, A Pewhairangi 2 goals) def. North Sydney Bears 16 (M O'Dare, C Johnston, M Hyland tries; K Aldridge 2 goals) at Ringrose Park.