Magpies' Second-Half Swoop Downs Mounties
Wentworthville have scored 30-unanswered points to record their best win of the season to date, a convincing 36-18 victory in what was a high-quality affair at Ringrose Park.
After a slow start Mounties looked to have found their groove when leading 18-6 towards the back-end of the first-half, but two tries in the closing minutes before the break gave the Magpies the impetus to go on with the job.
Keeping the visitors scoreless, the Magpies remain well and truly in the hunt for a spot in the Intrust Super Premiership top eight come the season’s end.
The home side was best served by their ever-elusive fullback Honeti Tuha and damaging centre, Nathan Davis, who capitalised on the strong go-forward provided by the big men upfront, led by Siosaia Vave and Marata Niukore.
The home side opened the scoring when Jeff Robson’s clearing kick somehow ended up back in the hands of centre Dane Aukuafolau, who strolled over to score the easiest of tries much to the shock of the visiting team, who trailed 6-0 after just four minutes of play.
The game seemed to turn on its head when Mounties half Isaac John kicked a 40/20 in the 13th minute as Mounties seemingly gained ascendancy to score eighteen unanswered points.
From the ensuing set, hooker Adam Clydesdale fooled the Magpies try-line defence to dart over from dummy half to level the scores.
It wasn’t long before Mounties hit the lead when John combined with Dominic Reardon and Ruebenn Rennie, shifting play right and stretching the Magpies defence before winger Kato Ottio cut back inside to score midway through the half.
The Magpies looked to be in further trouble when five-eighth Lachlan Croker’s grubber kick rebounded off the posts and into the waiting arms of Reardon to give Mounties a handy 18-6 lead.
But the home side worked their way back into the game when Tuha stepped through a yawning gap to score out wide to trail by 8 on the half-hour mark, but took on the momentum into the sheds at half-time down by just two, after Troy Dargan’s pin-point cross-field kick found a flying George Jennings before he turned in back inside for Davis to score underneath the post.
If the first half was a see-sawing affair, the second half belonged to Wentworthville, scoring a further 20 unanswered points.
Magpies back-rower Niukore finished off a shift back right, stepping past his opposite to put the home side back in front 22-18 in the 48th minute before Vave scored the individual try of the game with a barnstorming 35m effort to push the lead out to ten, midway through the second half.
As time ticked away, Mounties created some good half-chances to get back into the game but each time were denied by poor execution just as they looked likely to score.
But the home side were not to be denied a very good win as a Faraimo penalty goal from out wide was soon followed by a second try to Davis off a well-placed Tuha kick into an empty in-goal in the closing stages of the game.
Having come into this game minus the suspended Brent Naden, Mounties will nervously await the outcome on an incident late in the game that saw Eddie Aiono placed on report for dangerous contact, after his opposing centre was placed in a dangerous position in contesting a short-kick off.
Wentworthville will be looking to continue their winning moment when they travel down the Great Western Highway to take on in-form near-neighbours Blacktown Workers at HE Laybutt Sporting Complex next Sunday.
Mounties on the other hand will look to return to winning ways when they host Illawarra at GIO Stadium next Saturday, in what looms as a vital clash for both teams.