The Wentworthville Magpies Intrust Super Premiership NSW side have played out a 22-all draw against the Newcastle Knights before the NRL pre-season trial at Maitland No.1 Sportsground on Saturday 24 February.
Fielding a side similar to the one that played out a 12-all draw to the North Sydney Bears in their first trial a fortnight ago, Nathan Cayless’ Magpies had a handful of NRL experience players in David Gower, Kaysa Pritchard, Andy Saunders and Nathan Davis all named in the starting thirteen.
However it was the NRL experience in the Knights camp that struck first, when half Brock Lamb spun his way through a tackle close to the line to score a try next to the posts in the opening 10 minutes.
However the Magpies struck back with their next possession of the ball, off the back of some quick feet from hooker Pritchard. The livewire darted his way through the Knights defence, surging 30m forward to put the side on the front foot.
A short side play on the final tackle of the set saw the ball go to the right, before the ball came back infield where half Dylan Izzard kicked across field to find fullback Nathan Davis towering over his opposite number to win the jump to the ball and plant it for a converted try.
Some back and forth play from both sides as both teams looked to play with freedom and it was a simple overlap down the Knights left edge that saw Tom Hughes go over in the corner with a nice pinpoint pass from fullback Nick Meaney in the lead up.
The try was converted giving the Knights a 10-6 lead.
The Magpies stayed in the arm wrestle, and after a string of penalties, they found their way inside the Knights half before fullback Anthony Layoun dummied his way to the line to score out wide and level the scores just before half time.
It didn’t take long into the second half for the first points to be put on the board, and it took an individual effort from Sam Gorman. The utility with a one on one strip before running 35m to score untouched.
Some solid defence from the Magpies in the blistering heat kept the away side holding onto a lead for the next 15 minutes of play, with the Knights held up over the line on several occasions in a period of play that spanned across 8 sets inside the Magpies half.
The Knights eventually posting points on the board through Tyrone Amey who crashed over for a converted try to level the scores 16-all.
With the Magpies appearing to tire in the conditions, the Knights put themselves ahead inside the final ten minutes of play when Daniel Peck barged his way over close to the line for a converted try.
However two crucial penalties to the Magpies saw the side with an opportunity to level the scores with 5 minutes on the clock and after some handy work from Reed Mahoney near the ruck, the dummy half put Nathan Milone into a hole to score to the right of the posts.
Mahoney converted the try to level the scores at 22-all and neither side were able to break the deadlock before the fulltime siren rang.
Wentworthville Magpies 22 (Tries: Nathan Davis, Anthony Layoun, Sam Gorman, Nathan Milone; Goals: Nathan Davis 1/2, Reed Mahoney 2/2)
Newcastle Knights 22 (Tries: Brock Lamb, Tom Hughes, Tyrone Amey, Daniel Peck; Goals: Brock Lamb 0/1, Ken Sio 1/1, Ryan Stig 2/2)