The Wentworthville Magpies have gone down to Illawarra at WIN Stadium this afternoon (Sunday 12 March) suffering a 24-16 defeat.
There was a real traditional softening up period from both sides, as they looked to play through the middle and challenge each other with some physical and brutal defence.
It was Illawarra who struck first, when they crossed over for the opening try of the game in the 16th minute. Illawarra’s half Jack Payne going over after a wrap around with one of his forwards, creating an overlap out wide before slicing through the defence close to the line to score.
Illawarra struck again through hooker Siliva Havili, who barged his way over closer to the line to put the Cutters up by twelve, before an unconverted try to centre Levi Dodd extended the lead further.
The Magpies swung the momentum back around in their own favour with some strong runs, and it paid dividends in the 36th minute of play when winger Bureta Faraimo crossed over out wide.
Some quick hands from Robson and George Jennings put Faraimo into space, and the winger stepped and spun his way to the line to score an unconverted try.
The Magpies entered the halftime sheds trailing 16-4.
The Magpies needed to strike first in the second half, and they did just four minutes into the action.
Centre Kirisome Auva’a who was making his return following a suspension, showed some quick hands under pressure to put winger Scott Schulte into space. The rangy flyer showed some speed down the side line, streaking 40m to cross over out wide for a converted try.
However Illawarra fullback Matt Dufty put his stamp on the game with a try in the 50th minute. The number one received a ball from half Shaun Nona close to the line, and he sliced through the defence at speed to score under the posts.
The Magpies didn’t give up, and it took an individual effort from half Jeff Robson to cross over for a converted try in the 60th minute to bring the game within six points (22-16) to leave the game in the balance.
However in the 68th minute, Illawarra extended their lead to more than a converted try, opting to take the two points from 20m out.
The Magpies probed with their attack and threw the ball around in hopes to score in the final 10 minutes, but the Illawarra defence held strong, as they secured a 24-16 victory over Wentworthville.
Wentworthville Magpies 16 (Tries: Bureta Faraimo, Scott Schulte, Jeff Robson; Goals: Jamal Fogarty 2/3)
Illawarra 24 (Tries: Jack Payne, Siliva Vaili, Levi Dodd, Matt Dufty; Goals; Shaun Nona 4/5)