The Wentworthville Magpies have been defeated 26-20 by the Penrith Panthers on Saturday afternoon at Pepper Stadium.
With three quick tries in the second half, Wenty looked likely to pull off an impressive comeback to win from 20-6 down, but fell just short of the win.
The Magpies were quick out of the gates, bundling the Panthers attackers over the sideline to kill two early opportunities, and putting first points on the board thanks to five-eighth Ryan Matterson muscling over the line in the 4th minute.
While the Magpies came close again on the right edge, they fell foul of the penalty count and possession late in the half as the Panthers’ Eddie Aiono broke the line on Wenty’s left edge, and circled round to score under the posts in the 25th minute.
Panthers winger Christian Crichton followed with his own four-pointer on the left edge, and centre Will Smith engineered a third Penrith try as he sidestepped, dummied and finally offloaded to Kieran Moss in perfect position to score.
Right on the buzzer, Penrith’s Sam Hollis spread the ball to his right, thought the hands of Adrian Davis for a cut-out pass to Nu’u Akeripa and on to Aiono for his second try of the day, sending the Panthers back to sheds with a 20-6 lead.
Penrith struck early after the break with Fisher-Harris drawing the defence and popping the football to Akeripa, to Moss to break the line and score.
But as Wenty found their feet, they pushed Davis hard in the tackle to earn possession, and took full advantage to send Daniel Perkins over in the corner for a try.
Building on a barnstorming run from lock Josh Aloiai, Wenty half Dockar-Clay chipped into open space on the right for Ben Crooks to cross the try line. and with 11 minutes on the clock, Corey Makelim delivered a beautifully-weighted cross-field chip for Bureta Faraimo to add another four points and rein the full time score in to 26-20.
Penrith Panthers - 26 (Aiono 2, Moss 2, Crichton. Isaac John: 0/1 Will Smith 3/4)
Wentworthville Magpies - 20 (Matterson, Perkins, Crooks, Faraimo. Zach Dockar-Clay: 2/3 Ben Crooks: 0/1)