Mounties exploded out of a 6-4 halftime deficit to storm to an emphatic 34-6 victory over the Wentworthville Magpies.
Jack Ahearn was sublime, displaying an array of handling skills with no-look passes, short balls and inside balls lighting up Ringrose Park but it was the efforts of Brenko Lee that stood out, with the huge winger bagging a try assist and three tries of his own courtesy of intercepts, fends and some bull-dozing runs.
Both teams were coming off wins with Mounties sitting two points behind the competition leaders. The Magpies, alternatively, were hoping to climb off the bottom of the ladder as the season nears its final rounds.
The opening 10 minutes saw the weight of possession and field position go to the Mounties but they were unable to convert their opportunities into points.
In the twelfth minute a high tackle from Beau Henry saw a scuffle unfold with Henry landing a punch on the jaw of his opposite number, Mitch Cornish, before being sin-binned.
Despite being one man down the Magpie’s received a brace of penalties and in the 20th minute they opted to take the two points. Cody Nelson converted the penalty sixteen metres out to give the Magpies first points.
Two minutes later Henry reentered the fray to find his side with the momentum and miraculously in front 2-0.
The Magpies struck again in the 35th minute after a Beau Henry cut-out pass that created an overlap for Vai Toutai to exploit. Toutai drew the Mountie winger before passing to Bureta Faraimo who crossed over out wide. Henry failed to land the conversion and Mounties hit back just before half time when John Kennedy landed a fifteen-metre spiral cut-out pass for Lee on the wing. Lee strolled over on the right edge untouched but Mitch Cornish failed to add the extras giving the Magpies a 6-4 halftime lead.
The second half began like the first with the opening twenty minutes seeing Mounties with a mountain of possession. Mitch Barnett pounced on a Magpies loose ball ten metres from the tryline to crash over the line. Cornish landed the conversion from right in front to take the lead to 10-6 with 23 minutes remaining.
Two minutes later and just as the Magpies looked likely to score, Lee intercepted a pass from Butler Flemming to race 60 metres to score out wide. Cornish converted the try and with 20 minutes left the scores stood 16-6.
The next 13 minutes saw Mountie’s score another three tries as the Magpies failed to match the intensity of their opponents. Jeremy Hawkins crossed twice while the rampaging Pat Mataele scored one of his own down the same left edge. Cornish was unable to convert any of the three attempts from the sideline as Mounties lead 28-6 by the 73rd minute.
The final try of the match was fittingly scored by Lee, who emphasised his impressive performance in receiving the ball 20 metres out before angling a grubber back in field and re-gathered to plant the ball down under the posts for a final 34-6 score line.
Mounties 34 (B Lee 3, J Hawkins 2, P Mataele, M Barnett tries; M Cornish 3 goals) bt Wentworthville Magpies 6 (B Faraimo tries; C Nelson 1 goal)