Mounties have taken the win over arch rivals the Wentworthville Magpies, registering a 34-24 victory at Henson Park.
For the opening match of the Intrust Super Premiership's Magic Weekend, Wentworthville had just one late inclusion: front-rower Siosaia Vave. Mounties, meanwhile, brought the likes of Sam Williams, Craig Garvey and Tony Satini into the starting line-up, with all three having a major impact on the game.
Match: Mounties v Magpies
Round 11 -
Venue: Henson Park
The opening 10 minutes saw both sides squander an opportunity; first, winger Eddie Aiono appeared to cross for Wentworthville, only for the pass to be called forward. Minutes later, it was Satini's turn to go close for Mounties, carrying three Magpies defenders but coming up short.
Eventually, it was Mounties' right side which delivered the first points when halfback Sam Williams shifted to Ed Murphy, who put Mikaele Ravalawa in the clear to race 30 metres to score. With Sitiveni Moceidreke's conversion, they led 6-0.
They followed up soon after on the opposite side, when Satini broke free to score Mounties' second, again converted by Moceidreke. An attacking grubber from Piki Rogers then trailed dead for the Magpies minutes later, before Moceidreke and Ravalawa went close to scoring again for the Mount Pritchard side.
Mounties had hit their straps and Satini soon got his second; the centre strolled over out wide to increase his side's lead to 16. When the Magpies kicked out on the full on the ensuing restart, things went from bad to worse.
As half-time approached, Mounties looked for a greater advantage - and it took a superb piece of play to bring more points. A brilliant cut-out ball from Williams failed to send Ravalawa through to score in the south-western corner, so the winger cut back inside, stepping the defence before chipping for a racing Mitchell Cahalane to score. Moceidreke made no mistake in adding the extras as the siren sounded, taking the game to a 22-0 half-time lead.
The second half started the way Wentworthville needed it to, with Rogers making a 20-metre break before being halted by Moceidreke. The five-eighth managed to get the ball free for Dane Aukafolau, however, with the centre going over untouched.
Thoughts of a comeback were quickly quelled by a four-pointer to Mounties just five minutes later, with a well-timed short ball from Garvey sending Cahalane crashing over for his second. The result was put well beyond doubt when rookie Corey Horsburgh split the defence to score with 26 minutes remaining.
The Magpies weren't done with and hooker Reed Mahoney - having just regained the starting role - scored from dummy-half. Almost immediately after, Wentworthville once again crossed from close range; this time Raymond Stone was the man to score. Both tries were converted by Nathan Davis, making the score 34-18.
Wentworthville did well to hold out another Mounties attacking raid, before a fumble from Davis robbed them of the chance to reduce the deficit further. With five minutes remaining, the task would be too great for the Magpies, but Siosaia Vave soon crashed over to add some respectability to the scoreboard regardless. It sent scores to 34-24, which would remain until the game's conclusion.