The Wentworthville Magpies have accounted for the Wests Tigers in their Round 20 clash at Ringrose Park, turning in a dominant display to run out 46-10 victors – the result their fifth-consecutive Intrust Super Premiership NSW win.
Untroubled from the get-go, the Magpies move to within one competition point of the top four, running in nine-tries-to-two to consign the Wests Tigers to the bottom of the ladder in the process.
An early error from the Wests Tigers set the tone for the afternoon’s run of play, with Wentworthville sent on an immediate attacking raid deep inside the visitors’ territory.
Making the Tigers pay for their error, a strong effort close to the line from Magpies winger George Jennings was rewarded with the first points of the afternoon. Fellow outside back Nathan Davis was unable to add the extras from the touchline.
Full of running on the back of an early try, Wentworthville again split the Tigers defence as Kirisome Auva’a set off down field on a big, busting run.
Taking full advantage of their field position, a cross-field kick from five-eighth Troy Dargan brought about another Tigers error, with Magpies captain Cody Nelson on hand to collect his side’s second try.
Nathan Davis made no mistake second time around from the tee, slotting the conversion attempt to send the Magpies out by 10-points inside the opening eight minutes.
Wentworthville continued their momentum from the restart, rolling down the field before halfback Jeff Robson consolidated the set of six with a settling kick into a corner.
Ill-discipline both in attack and defence had the Tigers on the back foot, with the Magpies asking plenty of questions of the visitors’ goal-line defence inside the match’s opening quarter.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, the side had no answers as prop forward Magnus Stromquist crashed across from close range to extend the Magpies’ lead to 14.
Stromquist had little work to do bar placing the ball down, bundling through would-be defenders on the end of a deft Robson pass to score adjacent to the posts. Davis obliged from the tee, extending the hosts’ lead to 16-0 after 14 minutes of play.
To add further to their woes, Tigers’ fullback Watson Heleta soon after went down with an ankle complaint. Heleta returned to action momentarily before leaving the field for the match.
Robust Magpies back-rower Marata Niukore caught the eye early in the clash with his bustling runs through the heart of the Tigers defence, laying the platform for halves Dargan and Robson to work on the back of.
Following a Dargan-forced dropout in the 20th minute of play, a damaging run from Dane Aukafolau close to the line saw the centre cross for the Magpies’ fourth try of the afternoon.
Davis was unsuccessful with his shot on goal, as the score remained at 20 points to nil.
Needing a spark, the Wests Tigers looked to their interchange bench, with Josh Aloiai and Wes Lolo injected into the play with 23 minutes gone.
Though the pair couldn’t help the side in attack, with the Tigers looking rudderless at times as the otherwise inexperienced playmaker Veiru Mapesone filled the halfback role.
The sides traded blows – though without any real effect – within earshot of the half-time siren, before then heading to the sheds with the Magpies leading by 20.
The second-half started much the same as the first did, with the Tigers offering up chances for the Magpies to post points.
On the back of another penalty, the Magpies set off down field, and soon they found their fifth try of the afternoon courtesy of back-rower, John Folau.
Folau’s dashing run through the paper-thin Tigers edge defence had him into space, with makeshift fullback Christian Yassmin unable to bring a halt to the barnstorming run, that resulted in four points.
Four then became six as Davis converted, the Magpies out by 26 points with 32 minutes to play.
The try was the first of four in a seven-minute period for the hosts, with Robson, Heleti Tuha and Scott Schulte all crossing for tries as the Magpies rocketed their lead out to 42.
Experienced half Robson showed his wares with his supporting effort, as fullback Tuha sent the veteran number seven over for points on the end of quick interchange passing.
Provider on that occasion, Tuha then ran the better part of 100 metres for a try of his own, collecting a loose ball at his own end before turning on the speed to leave Tigers defenders in his wake.
With luck on their side, Schulte nabbed his four-pointer as a Robson kick found a favourable deflection into his hands, for yet another Magpies try - their eighth of the afternoon.
Their hands on their hips with little answers for the Magpies’ threats, the Tigers mustered courage to continue to fight for points, showing late resilience to restore respectability to scoreline.
A double to hooker Jeremy Marshall-King lessened the deficit to 32 points, before Davis rubbed salt into the proverbial wounds with his try in the 75th minute of play, extending the score to 46-10.
Exhausted after his long, winding run – one which only further embarrassed the Tigers defence – Davis handed over the kicking duties to Tuha, who was unable to raise the touch judges’ flags.
So it would remain at the sound of the full-time siren, as the Magpies leap-frog Mounties into fifth on the Intrust Super Premiership NSW ladder on the back of the 36-point win.
Wentworthville Magpies 46 (G Jennings, C Nelson, M Stromquist, D Aukafolau, J Folau, J Robson, H Tuha, S Schulte, N Davis tries; N Davis 5 goals) def. Wests Tigers 10 (J Marshall-King 2 tries; V Mapesone goal)