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Crichton hat-trick seals the deal for St Marys

Former NRL winger Christian Crichton scored a hat-trick to spearhead St Marys comeback 34-28 win today over Wentworthville Magpies before a joyous home crowd to wrap up the NSWRL’s Licensed Clubs Round, brought to you by CABE.

There was 11 tries in the Leagues Clubs Australia Ron Massey Cup Grand Final rematch between the two western Sydney heavyweights.

Saints conjured up the win after the Magpies put on 28 unanswered points, which was the exact margin they lost to them in the 2023 decider (40-12).

But when the Magpies lost their chief playmaker and halfback Henry Raiwalui to injury with just over 20 minutes to play, the wheels seemed to fall off for Wentworthville.

They had done considerable damage with three quick tries at the start of the second half to inflate a two-point lead at the break (12-10) to 18 points.

But St Marys scored the last four tries and can also thank the accuracy of goalkicker Zac Greene, who converted from the sideline to level the scores at 28-all and then kicked a penalty goal to put their noses in front.

It was St Marys who jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the opening 17 minutes off two tries down their left edge, both off superbly timed cut-out passes.

First it was fullback Hayden Bonanno chiming into the line to put former Crichton (pictured above, Photo: Bryden Sharp) in the clear.

Nine minutes later and halfback Greene put the ball on the chest of his centre Tony Satini.

But Wenty had some tricks up their sleeve, with the first engineered by brotherly intuition.

Hooker Kruz Niutili-Schmidt looked left but passed right from dummy-half to his brother and second rower Felix to score.

Six minutes later and Wenty No.7 Henry Raiwalui’s high kick was chased and collected by teammate and back-rower Kyle Cassel for his third try this season.

Both tries were converted by five-eighth Liam O’Brien, which gave them a slim two-point lead at the break (12-10).

O’Brien continued to add to the scoresheet with a try in the 46th minute off a chip-chase by fullback Ethyn Martin to get the Magpies downfield.

It was then Martin’s neat offload to lock Blake Cook that set up the Magpies fourth try – to centre Chris Tupou.

O’Brien remained at 100% with his fourth conversion and the score had ballooned out to 24-10.

Wenty’s third try in six minutes came with Cassel scoring his second of the afternoon (28-10).

St Marys pegged one back – with 21 minutes still left on the clock - when winger Jamin Williams went over unmarked in the right corner, with Greene slotting the conversion (28-16).

Then prop Anton Iaria crossed in the 64th, followed by Crichton in the 73rd and 79th minutes. Throw in the successful penalty for Cassel tackling Iaria off the ball in the 77th minute and the victory was complete.

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New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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