The Wentworthville Magpies have progressed through to the Grand Final of the 2019 Canterbury Cup competition after a dominant 35-10 victory over the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium this afternoon (Saturday 21 September).
The Rabbitohs would of been buoyed by the inclusion of prop George Burgess on the bench, who had played just the 10 minutes in the Rabbitohs NRL clash the night before, but it didn’t help stop the early Magpies onslaught.
Racing out off the blocks with a near perfect twenty minutes of football, the Magpies scored the first try of the afternoon in just the sixth minute of play through fullback Josh Hoffman. The captain pouncing on a Rhys Davies grubber, which ricocheted into the Rabbitohs defensive line to scoop up the ball and score under the posts.
A penalty from right in front saw the Magpies extend their lead by two in the 11th minute of play.
The Magpies looked to be over again in the 16th minute but winger Charlton Schaafhausen was miraculously held up over the line out wide by the scrambling Rabbitohs defence.
However a few plays later, a well weighted grubber from half Jaeman Salmon had the Rabbitohs fullback spilling the ball in the in goal, with back rower Andrew Davey diving on the ball to score a converted try in the 18th minute.
The Magpies claiming a 14 point lead.
The Rabbitohs struck back in the 22nd minute, scoring with their first opportunity down the Magpies end. A well weighted kick from hooker Billy Brittian, who threaded a grubber close to the line, saw back rower Kyle Turner win the race to the ball and plant it just inside the field of play for a converted try.
The Magpies earnt themselves a scrum feed 10m out from the Rabbitohs line, when a kick was unable to be taken cleanly before going over the sideline.
A smart piece of play from hooker Matt McIlwrick had the Magpies over again, when the number nine darted from dummy half, running down the short side to score from the scrum. Davies converting the try to the right of the posts for a 20-6 lead in the 30th minute.
A lack of communication between Hoffman and winger Greg Leleisiauo saw a high kick return to the Rabbitohs possession and they capitalised with quick passes down their left edge for winger Mawene Hiroti to score an unconverted try in the corner in the 35th minute.
The Rabbitohs repelling the Magpies attack late in the first half, with the Magpies heading to the sheds with a 20-10 lead after the opening forty.
The Magpies continued the second half in fast fashion, similar to how they started the clash, scoring just 6 minutes into the second half.
After a short drop out was claimed by the Magpies, half Jaeman Salmon barged his way over from dummy half to score a converted try and extend the lead to 26-10.
A penalty from right in front saw Davies knock over a further two points to extend the lead to 18 points in the 50th minute of play.
The Magpies continued to complete their sets and their defensive line remained in tact as the Rabbitohs began to throw plenty of attack in the search of points.
Wentworthville continued their stranglehold on the game with punishing defence that saw the Rabbitohs struggle to make their way out of their own end. Heavy defence down the other end of the field the Magpies deny George Burgess a try in the 65th minute, dislodging the ball as the forward looked to stretch out towards the try line.
The Magpies scored a long range try in the 75th minute of the clash to put a stamp on their victory.
Tim Mannah sparking the long range try with an early pass that went on to Rhys Davies to split the Rabbitohs right edge defence before finding Haze Dunster to score to the left of the posts.
Davies converting the try for a 34-10 lead.
A field goal to Rhys Davies in the 78th minute saw the Magpies sure a domain 35-10 victory.
The Magpies will now face the victor of the St. George Illawarra Dragons v Newtown Jets clash in the Canterbury Cup Grand Final at Bankwest Stadium on Sunday 29 September.
Wentworthville Magpies 35 (Tries: Josh Hoffman, Andrew Davey, Matt McIlwrick, Jaeman Salmon, Haze Dunster; Goals: Rhys Davies 7/8; Field Goal: Rhys Davies 1)
South Sydney Rabbitohs 10 (Tries: Kyle Turner, Mawene Hiroti; Goals: Mawene Hiroti 1/2)