The Wentworthville Magpies were outplayed by the St George Illawarra Dragons in Round 20 of the Canterbury Cup.
A late run of tries to the Red V made it too difficult for the Magpies to fight back, going down 36-16 at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.
The first five minutes of the game were scrappy, with both teams dropping the ball multiple times.
The Dragons managed the better field position and were first to open the scoring, thanks to Jackson Ford who crossed in the eighth minute after a short ball close to the line from his half.
The second rower impressed minutes later when he scored another four pointer under the post following a cross field kick that was collected, offloaded before a final pass found Ford with his second of the afternoon..
It gave the Dragons a 12-point lead by the 16th minute.
Wentworthville were given an opportunity in the following set, after the Dragons kicked a ball out on the full.
The Magpies forced a repeat set with a nice grubber and then earned a penalty five metres out on the back of the Dragon’s line drop-out.
Centre Josh Hoffman made the most of the opportunity, finding some space on the left edge after a long pass from half Rhys Davies to pick up the Magpies first points.
The Magpies were left scrambling in defence, with back-to-back sets on their own try-line shortly after.
A nice kick to the corner by the Dragons saw a high flying Lachlan Maranta claiming the high ball, before miraculously planting the ball to score before the stroke of halftime, taking their lead out to 12 points.
Trailing by 12, the Magpies needed to step up their game in the second half.
Back rower Salesi Fainga'a was quick to act, putting in a little grubber for himself after a cross field kick was batted back by winger Haze Dunster, planting it next to the post two minutes into the second half.
Rhys Davies continued his form with the boot, converting the try, narrowing the gap to six points.
The Dragons had an opportunity to score in the 50th minute, but dropped the ball over the Magpies try line.
The Magpies continued to build pressure early in the second half, and a nice kick to the corner by Will Smith forced Dragons fullback Matt Dufty to knock on, on the Dragon’s try line.
The Magpies received an offside penalty the following set and they made most of their opportunity with Haze Dunster using some nice footwork to cross on the left side after a string of passes in the lead up.
A missed conversion by Rhys Davies meant they still trailed the Dragons by two points with 25 minutes to play.
The Dragons weren’t wiling to roll over and hit back, scoring two quick tries with less than 20 minutes to go.
Fullback Matt Dufty showed his speed to win the race to a nice grubber kick to score next to the posts in the 60th minute, before Jackson Ford picked up two more tries to secure the game.
Ford scored his third try of the afternoon after he shrugged off some Magpies defence close to the line in the 64th minute, before going on to score his fourth try of the afternoon in the 71st minute, with a determined, individual effort, beating several defenders to score under the posts.
The fourth try putting a stamp on a strong second half performance as the Dragons secured a 36-16 victory over the Magpies in Round 20.
Wentworthville Magpies 16 (Tries: Josh Hoffman, Salesi Fainga'a, Haze Dunster; Goals: Rhys Davies 2/3)
St. George Illawarra Dragons 36 (Tries: Jackson Ford (4), Lachlan Maranta, Matt Dufty; Goals: Tristan Sailor 2/2, Darren Nicholls 4/4)