Highlights: Bears v Magpies (Rd 19)
The Wentworthville Magpies resisted a second-half North Sydney Bears fight-back to record a stirring 27-20 victory.
Magpies halfback Beau Henry blew the Bears off the park early on when he scored three tries in quick succession before the 25-minute mark, and slotted a late field goal to seal the win.
The Bears were guilty of poor ball control and ill-discipline throughout the match, which gifted the Magpies field position that they converted into points.
Kyle Turner inspirationally made his return to Rugby League since suffering a serious spinal injury in February, and was a welcome addition for the Bears.
A Darren Nicholls linebreak along the right sideline followed by an in-field grubber allowed Cody Walker to re-gather and open the scoring for the Bears with a remarkable try.
Henry immediately responded with three tries in ten minutes, which completely blew the wind out of the Bears sails.
Henry stepped through various Bears defenders to score his first try with relative ease, and scored his second in support of Cody Nelson just two minutes later.
A Darryl Millard mistake at fullback allowed Henry to pick up a loose ball and score a simple try to complete his hat-trick, which consequently increased the Magpies lead to 16-4 after 25 minutes.
The Magpies were gifted two points on the stroke of halftime thanks to an indiscretion in front of the posts, which gave the visitors a commanding 18-4 half-time lead.
The Bears entered the second half with added enthusiasm and effort; however being on the wrong side of a lob-sided error count did not help their cause.
Nonetheless, they dominated the opening stages of the second half.
Joel Reddy planted the ball down in the left corner just five minutes into the half, only for the John Olive flick pass in the lead up to be correctly ruled forward.
The forward pass did not hinder their defensive attitude, as they rushed up on tackle one to force a costly Magpies error, before Walker picked up the spilt ball to score a simple try.
Olive helped cut the deficit to just four points in the 54th minute after he used his speed to get on the outside of a Magpies defender, which allowed him to pass to an unmarked Reddy who finished in the left corner.
Repeated errors halted the Bears’ momentum, allowing the Magpies to increase their lead to 22-14 after Vai Toutai powered through to score on the right edge.
The Bears immediately responded through Jack Gosiewski, who took advantage of a spilt grubber by the Magpies to score under the posts which made the score 22-20.
Reddy made an outstanding effort to chase down Bureta Faraimo who looked certain to go all the way, but he held him down too long in the tackle and was sent to the sin bin.
The Magpies immediately took advantage of the extra man, and scored through Fabian Goodall after a right-to-left shift to lead by six points with seven minutes remaining.
Nelson missed the important conversion, however the Bears’ kickoff went out on the full, giving Henry an easy opportunity to slot a match-sealing field goal.
The Bears spent the dying minutes on the attack, but the Magpies defence held them out until the full-time buzzer, with the scores standing at 27-20.
North Sydney Oval will see the Bears host the Illawarra Cutters next Saturday, while the Magpies will play Mounties at Ringrose Park on Sunday.
Wentworthville Magpies 27 (B Henry 3, F Goodall, V Toutai tries; C Nelson 2, Henry goals; Henry field goal) bt North Sydney Bears 20 (C Walker 2, J Reddy, J Gosiewski tries; D Nicholls 2 goals) at North Sydney Oval