The Western Suburbs Magpies took lead of the Ron Massey Cup table when they edged out the Auburn Warriors 26-18 in atrocious conditions at Lidcombe Oval last Saturday.
Wests took full advantage of being the only match played on a weekend marred by the cyclonic conditions that pounded Sydney to go past Wentworthville at top spot.
The Warriors struck first in the torrential rain and gale force winds that battered Lidcombe last Saturday when Lindon McGrady opened the scoring with a determined try for Brendan Cox to convert for a six-nil Auburn lead.
The Magpies replied when Daniel Ravkin muscled over from a sweet Brendan Waters pass to level scores with Shannon Gallant’s conversion.
Auburn made the most of their hard earned possession in the conditions when interchange forward Jake Kamire crashed over from close range in the 27th minute.
Cox converted and that was enough for the Warriors to lead 12-six at half-time.
Wests were rewarded for chancing their arm in the conditions when the switched play from one side of the field to the other for Jerome Mose to score out wide from a Josh Davis pass four minutes into the second half to bring the scores back to 12-10.
Mose bagged a second try when he managed to take a high cross-field bomb that swirled around in the conditions to give the Magpies the lead for the first time.
Wests winger Thomas Capper extended the lead from the restart with a second Wests try in three minutes for an 18-12 lead.
Another superb Waters pass found interchange player Heheako Tuima in space behind the ruck for Tuima to score beside the posts and Gallant to convert for a 24-12 mid way through the second half as the Warriors’ discipline started to let them down.
Auburn held on to the ball for long enough for Ben Dakuwaqa to set up a thrilling finish with his 11th try of the season to bring the scores back to 24-18 with Addison Demetriou’s conversion.
Auburn’s discipline again let them down in the closing stages – they were caned 12-4 in the penalties by referee Philip Sung – and a Gallant penalty goal inside the last five minutes gave Wests an eight-point cushion at 26-18.
The Magpies did enough in the closing stages to secure their win and top spot – at least for now – on the Massey Cup table.
The other five matches were all washed out as cyclonic conditions took hold across Sydney last weekend.
Three of those matches will be played across the first of the spare weekends for postponed games this weekend.
They start with the Asquith Magpies taking on the Guildford Owls at Storey Park on Friday Night at 8:00pm.
Then Wentworthville have the opportunity to reclaim the Ron Massey Cup lead when they take on arch rivals Mounties in a clash of the heavyweights at Aubrey Keech Reserve, Hinchinbrook on Saturday at 3:00pm.
Finally, the Hills District Bulls square off with the Windsor Wolves at Crestwood Reserve on Sunday at 3:00pm.
The remaining matches – Cabramatta v Kingsgrove Colts and Blacktown Workers v St Marys – will be played on the weekend of July 23/24 when the annual Ron Massey Cup Representative Match is scheduled.
Triple H FM have a feast of footy programs this Queen’s Birthday long weekend.
Firstly, there is live coverage of the Ron Massey Cup match between the Asquith Magpies and the Guildford Owls on Friday Night at Storey Park from 8pm.
Then talk show “View From The Hill” tackles all League issues on Saturday at Midday.
The weekend finishes with live coverage of the Intrust Super Premiership NSW clash between the North Sydney Bears and Mounties on Sunday from North Sydney Oval at 3pm.
All of the weekend action can be heard on 100.1FM, via web streaming at www.triplehfm.com.au, and via the TuneIn app.