The Wentworthville Magpies have continued their good form to record their third-straight victory, holding out a valiant Newtown Jets outfit 20-12 at Ringrose Park on Sunday afternoon.
After asserting their dominance with a handy 14-0 advantage at half-time, the Magpies nearly let the Jets back in the game with tries to Sam Tagatese and Daniel Mortimer ensuring a hard-fought contest.
In another tough game of footy, five-eighth Jamal Fogarty showed glimpses of his brilliance with the first try of the game and a hand in another, while Daniel Mortimer put in a strong performance in a losing side, continuously threatening the Magpies defence and recording a try of his own.
In the opening stages of the contest, both teams were competing well with their forwards trying to dominate physically for field position, and the Magpies got off to the perfect start when Jamal Fogarty supported a break on the inside to score the under the posts.
A kick out on the full from Newtown gifted the Magpies easy field position to score back-to-back tries, but Newtown held strong defensively and were able to hold them out.
A bustling run from late inclusion Atini Gafa saw him beat host of grasping defenders and streak away up the middle of the field, only to be brought down 30 metres out from the try line.
The Magpies were unable to capitalise with another poor last-tackle option and former Raiders winger Edrick Lee returned the favour with a strong run of his own.
Magpies continued to dominate possession and field position through the opening 25 minutes of the contest, but just couldn’t dominate on the scoreboard with constant handling errors costing them any chance of a breakthrough try.
A penalty goal from Fogarty finally broke the deadlock as the committed Jets defence couldn’t be broken, but their persistence finally paid off as John Folau showed brilliant strength to barge his way over just 5 minutes later.
Newtown continued to make poor mistakes with consistent passes under pressure forcing costly errors, and they were unable to find a much-needed try and trailed 14-0 at half-time.
After going for 40 minutes without managing to score, Newtown came out with a point to prove with Mortimer bursting onto a brilliant offload before drawing in the fullback for Tagatese who scored their first of the afternoon.
Things continued to turn sour for the Magpies with their resulting kick-off going out on the full and inviting the Jets right back into the contest. Despite the chance, they were unable to take advantage and gifted the Magpies a seven-tackle set.
Although early signs of complacency were worrying for the Magpies, they responded in perfect style with centre Nathan Davis showing great footwork to get on the outside of his opposing defender, before flicking the ball to Bureta Faraimo who scored in the corner.
Fogarty continued his perfect kicking record and the score ran out to 20-6 five minutes into the second half.
Both teams were desperately looking to break the game open with another try from the Magpies all but closing out the contest, however Newtown were fighting valiantly to work their way back into the game with a much-needed fry.
As the Jets continued to apply pressure on the in-form Magpies, Jordan Drew thought to have pounced on a grubber for their second of the day, only for the referee to have ruled that he knocked on.
Consecutive sets on the Magpies goal-line gave Newtown a sniff of a potential comeback, and former Roosters and Eels playmaker Daniel Mortimer showed his experience with a darting dummy fooling the defence to score his team’s second try of the day.
Fa’amanu Brown converted the try and the score was set at 20-12 with just 10 minutes to play.
Although the Jets continued to fight with some exciting attacking raids in the dying stages, the Magpies were able to hold on with a gutsy 20-12 victory to advance into fifth place on the ladder.
Wentworthville Magpies 20 (J Fogarty, J Folau, B Faraimo tries; J Fogarty 4 goals) def Newtown Jets 12 (S Tagatese, D Mortimer tries; F Brown 2 goals)