Magpies stage thrilling come from behind victory over Mounties

The Wentworthville Magpies have staged a thrilling 38-34 come from behind victory over the first placed Mounties side at Ringrose Park in Round 15 of the Canterbury Cup on Sunday 30 June.

Buoyed by the calibre of Bevan French, Will Smith, Tim Mannah and Daniel Alvaro, the Magpies efforts to come from a 26-10 deficit early in the second half sees them finish just one point out of the top eight at the completion of Round 15.

Bevan French imposing his class on the game with a double mid-way through the second half, sparking Wentworthville’s comeback.

Both sides were guilty of early errors but it was the Magpies who would settle first, scoring in the 8th minute when prop Daniel Alvaro barged his way over from close range to give the home side a 6-0 lead.

The visitors striking back just five minutes later, when a loose pass was knocked on before Dean Matterson scored next to the posts to level the scores.

Mounties took a 8-6 lead five minutes later through a penalty goal to Andre Niko, after Marata Niukore was penalised for late contact.

Mounties further extending their lead in the 25th minute, with an unconverted try to centre Harley Smart-Shields, who after some quick hands out left, enabled the centre to crash over out wide.

Another penalty goal saw Niko extend the lead by a further two points, Mounties claiming a 14-6 lead after thirty minutes, before a bomb was unable to be taken cleanly by French, giving Niko his own four pointer of the afternoon, sprinting 20m untouched to score under the posts.

Mounties taking a commanding 14 point lead with seven minutes remaining till the break.

A try just before the half time siren to winger Haze Dunster, who scooted down the side line after a nice cut out pass from French to score in the corner, had he Magpies cutting the margin to 8 after a successful Rhys Davies conversion from the sideline heading into the break.

The second half saw Mounties regain their ascendancy again with a converted try through interchange forward Steven Tevita, who claimed a loose grubber to push the score out to 26-10 with 30 minutes remaining.

French looked determined to make up for his earlier error, and after setting up a try to Dunster just before half time, the fullback crossed for a double in quick succession.

Some quick footwork close to the line had French diving over for a try before showing more desperation than his opposite number to claim a short kick to score his second of the afternoon in the space of four minutes.

Davies missed the later conversion, seeing the Magpies trial by four with 23 minutes remaining in the game.

A second try of the afternoon to Mounties centre Smith-Shields, finishing off a long range break to score in the left corner in spectacular fashion appeared to have halted the Magpies momentum, pushing the score back in Mounties’ favour, 30-22.

An error inside their own half saw the Magpies hit back with their own try, with winger Greg Leleisiuao finishing off a string of passes to score in the corner and cut the lead back to four.

When Andrew Davey barged his way over from dummy half followed by Davies successfully converting the try form out wide in the 68th minute of the clash, the Magpies had finally regained the lead they had not held since the early stages of the contest.

Big cheers from the Magpies ensued when Tim Mannah scored next to the posts from close range, spinning his way through defenders to plant it over the line in the 76th minute to push the lead out to 38-30.

A late unconverted try to Mounties winger Matthew Timoko right on the siren saw the Mounties strike late, but the home side still going on to claim a thrilling 38-34 victory.

The crucial victory sees the Magpies remain well in the hunt for a top eight spot and will now host Blacktown Workers at Ringrose Park next Saturday in Round 16.

Wentworthville Magpies 38 (Tries: Bevan French (2), Daniel Alvaro, Haze Dunster, Greg Leleisiuao, Andrew Davey, Tim Mannah; Goals: Rhys Davies 5/7)

Def

Mounties 34 (Tries: Dean Matterson, Harley Smith-Shields (2), Andrew Niko, Steve Tavita, Matthew Timoko; Goals: Andre Niko 3/6; Penalty Goals: 2/2)