The Wentworthville Magpies have come away with a 30-20 victory over the Penrith Panthers in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW pre-season trial at Pepper Stadium this afternoon (Sunday 18 February).
In a real back and forth affair, the Magpies came from behind to secure a victory over the Panthers counterparts, scoring 14 unanwered points in the final 20 minutes of the clash.
It didn’t take long for former Penrith Panther outside back George Jennings to kick things off with an immediate impact at his former ground.
On the first opportunity down at the try line, half Jamal Fogarty passed a lovely ball out the back to Jennings, who hit a gaping hole in the defence line to cross over a four pointer in the fourth minute.
The Panthers struck back shortly after, when Ratu Tuisese went over unopposed, off the end of a Kaide Ellis offload.
However the points kept coming, with Honeti Tuha crossing to the left off the posts. The fullback brushed off some lazy defence, before skipping his way to the try line. Fogarty knocked over the two points to give the Magpies a 10-4 lead after 12 minutes.
The points continued to stay up to date with the clock, when Panthers winger Malakai Watene-Zelezniak pounced on a Darren Nicholls grubber out score in the corner and level the scores.
However the game settled, and both teams found their groove as they got into the grind in the conditions.
Both teams looked to capitalise on their opportunities in the opposition end, and the deadlock was broken in the 30th minute with Watene-Zelezniak rose above his opposite winger, claiming a chip kick in the corner to score and give the Panthers a four point lead.
The Magpies worked their way down field and began to build pressure as they camped down the Panthers end. Robson forced three repeat sets with some deft weighted grubbers and the points eventually came when Sam Gorman received a short ball from dummy half to crash over under the posts.
Fogarty converted the try as the half time siren rang, as the Magpies took a 16-14 lead into the sheds.
The Magpies saw a handful of their side rested in the second half, opting for players to join the NRL side, and both teams entered a real arm wrestle. Both sides were involved to some end to end football as they looked to gain the upper hand early.
A 10 minute softening up period was eventually broken when Panthers lock Kaide Ellis hit a hole off Liam Coleman10m out from the try line to crash over under the posts. The try was converted by Nicholls as the Panthers took a 20-16 lead.
However the Magpies were quick to strike back.
Danny Baracat found himself on the end of a cut out ball from Jake Walsh close to the line, as the winger dove over in the corner to level the scores.
In the following set, Gorman sliced through the defensive line to run 40m down field and was looking for support before being pulled down. A quick spread to the right found Jordan Martin diving over in the corner, as the Magpies reclaimed a 24-20 lead.
Forward Kelepi Tanginoa extended the Magpies lead in the 70th minute with an individual 30m effort, as he powered through the defence line, before a big left foot step on the fullback saw him dive over for a converted try.
The score remained unchanged in the final 10 minutes of play, with the Magpies coming away 30-20 victors.
Wentworthville Magpies 30 (Tries: George Jennings, Honeti Tuha, Sam Gorman, Danny Baracat, Jordan Martin, Kelepi Tanginoa; Goals: Fogarty 2/3, Leva Li 1/3)
Penrith Panthers 20 (Tries: Ratu Tuisese, Malakai Watene-Zelezniak (2), Kaide Ellis; Goals: Darren Nicholls 2/4)