Defensive Masterclass Wins It For Wenty
Matt Buxton nswrl.com.au
The Wentworthville Magpies have won a tight and tense contest against the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles, elevating themselves just into the top eight.
In a game where the first five tries went unconverted, defence was the theme, with the Magpies withstanding an early Sea Eagles’ onslaught that ultimately set the tone for the match.
Blacktown started the game will all of the ball with great field position, constantly attacking the Wentworthville line with the ever-threatening Jackson Hastings leading the charge.
However, time after time, the Magpies continually turned the Sea Eagles’ attack away, defending six sets on their line in the opening quarter of the game without conceding once.
The situation was frustrating for Blacktown, made even worse when the Magpies scored off just their second opportunity on the attack. NSW under-20s Origin representative Troy Dargan put in a pinpoint cross-field kick onto the chest of George Jennings, who simply strolled over to open the scoring.
The pair almost linked up for another 10 minutes later as Dargan evaded two defenders and put in a grubber for the winger that was only inches from perfect, but found touch.
Blacktown finally cracked the Magpies’ stubborn defence thanks to some quick thinking from Hastings, who received a Jonathan Wright offload close to the line, and put in a smart grubber just behind the defence for Maliko Filino to pounce on.
After some tight end-to-end footy, Jennings eventually broke the game wide open when he made a break up the middle of the field from inside his own half, and when he was past the last defender, nobody had the legs to catch him in his pursuit for a first half double.
The conversion was the third missed for the game from both sides, meaning the half-time score read an 8-4 lead to Wentworthville.
The Magpies had half a chance before the second half was three minutes old, with Marata Niukore putting in a grubber for himself, but the ball just beat him to the dead ball line.
It would be Blacktown to open the scoring for the second half, however, when they quickly gained field position off the back of an offside penalty, and Peter Schuster completed a raid down the left sideline to lock the scores up at 8-all.
It would eventuate that Schuster would have a polarising five minute period when he could not handle a Jeff Robson bomb, and the ball bounced into the arms Niukore, who ran to the try-line and scored untouched.
A tense period followed when a minor scuffle breaking out before the Magpies furthered their lead when Cody Nelson scored off the back of a strong Siosaia Vave run and play the ball.
Wentworthville Magpies 18 (G Jennings 2, M Niukore, C Nelson tries; N Davis goal) def Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles 8 (J Hastings, P Schuster tries)