Magpies hold off fast finishing Panthers
The Wentworthville Magpies have held off a fast finishing Penrith Panthers side 16-14 in their Intrust Super Premiership NSW clash at ANZ Stadium.
The Magpies welcomed regular first grader Kane Evans into the starting side with Marata Niukore also starting in the back-row after dropping off the NRL side's extended bench.
Wentworthville put some early pressure on the Penrith line with Cameron King cashing in by diving over from dummy-half.
Nathan Davis converted from in front and the Magpies led 6-0 in the sixth minute.
Neither side could get a good flow of possession for the majority of the half with dropped balls and penalties common.
Penrith managed to get into good field position late in the half with Adam Keighran the beneficiary of slick work from fullback Caleb Aikens and the Panthers centre slid over in the left corner.
Keighran couldn't convert from the sideline and Wentworthville held a 6-4 lead after 35 minutes.
Panthers back-rower Andy Saunders then found himself in the sin bin in the 39th minute after he prevented Matt Woods from tacking a quick 20 metre restart.
The Magpies were unable to take advantage from the ensuing penalty and the sides headed to the sheds for half time with the score still 6-4.
Penrith went ahead in the 55th minute through winger Sam Smith who touched down in the left corner.
Keighran couldn't convert and the Panthers led 8-6.
With 21 minutes to go Nathan Davis put the Magpies back in the lead, carrying three Panthers defenders over the line.
Davis was unable to convert from the sideline and Wentworthville led 10-8.
Bradley Deitz sent the Magpies further ahead when he scooted from dummy-half off the back of a strong Kane Evans run. Davis converted and the Magpies led 16-8 after 65 minutes.
Jarome Luai responded for the Panthers with nine minutes to go. Keighran converted and the Magpies led 16-14.
The Panthers though were unable to reel in the Magpies, Wentworthville winning 16-14.