By Nicholas Janzen at Ringrose Park
Wentworthville have ended a four-match losing streak in emphatic fashion with a 60-22 shellacking of Manly at Ringrose Park last Sunday.
The Magpies raced to a big lead early in the match, holding a 22-0 advantage midway through the first half, and continued to play expansive, attacking football for the full 80 minutes to eventually run away with a 38-point victory. The win elevates Wentworthville to the top four on the VB NSW Cup premiership ladder following the Cutters’ decisive victory over Mounties.
It was a procession of tries for the home side, with the Magpies crossing for a total of 11 four-pointers, with backs Cecil Mackenzie and Ben Fritz bagging four and three touchdowns respectively.
Mackenzie opened Wenty’s account early in the match on the left flank after some smart dummy-half work on the left. Just a couple of minutes later the Magpies scored on the other side of the field when a pin-point fifth-tackle cross-field kick floated over the top of the last Manly defender and fell into Fritz’s arms. A skilful and powerful effort from in-form back-rower Lorenzo Ma’afu, who dummied, stepped and powered over the Sea Eagles’ defence just a few plays later, further extended Wenty’s sizeable advantage.
When Mackenzie scored his second try on the same blade of grass as his first to stretch the lead to 22 points, it was never going to be a matter of if for the home side, but a matter of by how many. Two athletic Manly tries reminiscent of their NRL side – to both Delroy Berryman and Tony Satini – cut the deficit but a second Fritz try, following a decisive run by Api Perhairangi, extended Wenty’s advantage to 20 at the break.
Wentworthville started the second half just as they did the first, racing in two tries, including Fritz’s third of the match, to stretch their lead to 30 and completely rip the game apart. Even three consecutive Sea Eagles tries midway through the second half couldn’t stem the tide – and the tidal wave of points from the home side.
Back-to-back Cecil Mackenzie four-pointers, his third and four of the game respectively, took the home side past the half-century mark. Two additional late tries, to Fabian Goodall and Justin Hunt, saw the home side notch 60 and rub even more salt into the Sea Eagles’ gaping wounds.
Next week Wentworthville play Canterbury in their second-last regular-round game of the season at Ringrose Park on Sunday. Manly, meanwhile, host Newtown at Brookvale Oval on Saturday.
Wentworthville Magpies 60 (C MacKenzie 4, B Fritz 3, F Goodall, D Howard, L Ma’afu, J Hunt tries; L Kelly 8 goals) def. Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 22 (T Satini 2, Z Nicholls, D Kelly, D Berryman tries; J Littlejohn goal) at Ringrose Park.