The Wentworthville Magpies have gone down to a spirited South Sydney Rabbitohs outfit in Round 12 of the Canterbury Cup at Ringrose Park on Sunday 2 June, suffering a 20-14 loss.
Buoyed by the inclusion of several Blue & Gold NRL squad players, including Tim Mannah, Daniel Alvaro, George Jennings and Brad Takairangi, the Wentworthville Magpies flew out of the blocks to build an early lead.
A long pass from fullback Bevan French after some passes from his forwards found winger George Jennings stepping back on the inside to crash over for the opening four points of the game.
The following set, the Magpies made their way down field off the back of strong charges from Alvaro and Mannah, and as they attacked the line, a quick thinking pass from Jaeman Salmon, who jumped into dummy half, found Bevan French diving over the line for a 10-0 lead after eight minutes.
Back to back penalties saw the Rabbitohs make their way down field and had their first real opportunity to post points down the Magpies end. Winger Kane Allan found is way over in the right side of the field when he was the recipient of a floating ball over the top of the rushing defence.
The Rabbitohs were in five minutes late, when hooker Josh Cook burrowed his way over the line in the 22nd minute of play. Halfback Dean Hawkins converting the second try of the afternoon to the right of the posts, giving the Rabbitohs a two point lead.
The Magpies looked to have crossed shortly after when a kick from French found five-eighth Salmon in support, but as he jumped and soared above the Rabbitohs defence, the ball came loose in the contact and a opportunity to regain the lead was missed.
As the half time siren loomed, some enterprising play from the Magpies lead to their next points. A string of passes from deep within their own half found left winger George Jennings with room to move and he charged 50m down field before being tackled.
The ball spread to the right on the next play and French found room to move out wide thanks to his fast footwork. Centre Takairangi loomed in support who offloaded to his winger Greg Leleisiuao who charged the final 25m to finish off a long range effort.
The conversion was unsuccessful as the Magpies regained a 14-12 lead at half time.
A tough period to being the second half saw both sides failing to complete for long periods of time, and it took an error from the Magpies that saw the Rabbitohs post their next points.
As the ball spread through the hands down the Magpies right edge, a pass was dropped and Rabbitohs centre Jacob Gagan scooped up the loose ball before running 60m to score under the posts in the 57th minute.
The try converted by Levi Dodd to give the Rabbitohs a four point lead.
A penalty from in front in the 63rd minute saw the Rabbitohs extend their lead to a converted try and despite the Magpies best efforts in the final fifteen minutes of play, the spirited Rabbitohs successful defended their line and claimed a 20-14 victory.
The loss sees the Magpies fall to eighth on the ladder. They face the ninth placed Newtown Jets at Henson Park on Saturday 8th June.
Wentworthville Magpies 14 (Tries: George Jennings, Bevan French, Greg Leleisiuao; Goals: Bevan French 1/3)
South Sydney Rabbitohs 20 (Tries: Kane Allan, Joshua Cook, Jacob Gagan; Goals: Dean Hawkins 2/2, Levi Dodd 1/1; Penalty Goals: Levi Dodd 1/1)