The Warriors have overcome a 10-point deficit to beat the Wentworthville Magpies 20-18 in an exciting game of Rugby League at Ringrose Park.
It wouldn’t take long for the scoring to open with the Magpies finding space on the edges; it was some simple passing through the hands that gave the opening try to Bureta Faraimo in the left-hand corner of the ground. Jamal Fogarty nailed the conversion from the sideline and gave the Magpies an early six-point lead.
Faraimo would soon find himself with a brace after some clever work from the halves saw the Warriors again caught short on their right hand edge and handing the Magpies a gift four points. Fogarty was unable to convert but a commanding lead was building.
With the Warriors being starved of both field position and possession, it was a relieving penalty that finally got them back into a good ball area. It took a lucky bounce, but the Warriors finally crossed the stripe late in the first half to fight their way back into the game through a bouncing ball and Paulos Latu slammed the ball down in the corner. Mason Lino converted from the sideline to ensure the Warriors were only behind by four points.
With only one minute left on the clock, Tui Lolohea came up with some outstanding acrobatics to bat a kick for touch back in field to save the Warriors a final onslaught from the Magpies and ensured the score line remained 10-6 at half-time.
The first points in the second half came through a sloppy ruck penalty against the Warriors right in front of the sticks, with the magpies opting to take the two and extend their lead back to a converted try.
The Warriors were slowly gaining the ascendancy in the middle of the field with strong carries and it was only a matter of time before they struck again, this time through the talented Lolohea who chased through a grubber and got to the ball first to lock things up yet again at 12-12.
Things only got worse for the Magpies as a cross-field kick was dropped and in the ensuing scramble, Junior Pauga managed to get the ball over the line. The Warriors found themselves in front 16-12 after Lino failed to convert from the sideline.
The back-and-forth in this exciting game continued with Nathan Davis running an excellent out-and-in line that saw him burst through some feeble Warriors defense and score untouched under the black dot with the lead yet again changing and the Magpies going back up 18-16.
With only five minutes left the Warriors need something special and they got it from a sublime cut-out ball from Samuel Cook that hit Latu on the chest at full speed and planted the ball down in the in goal to wing things back in the Warriors’ favour with little time left.
The Warriors defence was outstanding to finish the match; some bruising hits came with only seconds left to see the Magpies cough up possession and give a monumental victory to the boys from across the ditch. The Warriors were too good over the total 80 minutes and sealing a crucial victory as they continue the fight for first place with Wyong.
Warriors 20 (P Latu 2, T Lolohea, F Pauga tries; M Lino 2 goals) def Wentworthville Magpies 18 (B Faraimo 2, N Davis tries; J Fogarty 3 goals)