Newcastle Knights Vs Wentworthville Magpies
Newcastle Sports Ground, Sunday, June 29
Referee: Zbigniew Przeklasa-Adamski
By Shane Brien
Round 16: Faced with extremely cold conditions, the Magpies returned from the bye going down to the Newcastle Knights who posted their third straight win in the NSW Cup.
Wentworthville were unable to take advantage of a strong wind behind their back in the first half trailing 18-6 at half time.
It was James Elias who opened the scoring for the Knights in the 5th minute but his try was soon forgotten after Knights fullback Nathan Ross scooped up a Magpies grubber kick on his own try line, got past a desperate Luke Kelly and raced 100 metres to score a sensational try in the 17th minute.
Trailing 12-0, it was the Magpies who needed to score next and that’s exactly what they did courtesy of Liam Foran who burrowed over from close range in the 27th minute. Luke Kelly’s successful conversion saw the visitors narrow the margin to six points.
That’s as close as the Magpies got before half time with the Knights extending their lead to 12 once again when Chanel Mata’utia brushed through some simple defence to touch down. Mantellato keeping his perfect record intact saw Newcastle take an 18-6 lead to the sheds.
Returning with the breeze in the second half, the Knights would ultimately seize control of the contest by scoring the opening two tries of the half.
First it was Paterika Vaivai to cross the stripe followed by Josh Mantellato and all of a sudden, the Knights busted the game wide open with 24 point lead with 25 minutes left on the clock.
Wentworthville crossed with twice in the concluding stages with tries to Bureta Faraimo and Api Pewhairangi, but they were merely consolation tries on a day that the Magpies would rather forget.
The Magpies will look to put on a better performance when they head home to Ringrose Park on Sunday to host the North Sydney Bears.
Newcastle Knights 34 (C Mata'utia 2, N Ross, J Elias, P Vaivai, J Mantellato tries; J Mantellato 5 goals) def. Wentworthville Magpies 14 (A Pewhairangi, L Foran, B Faraimo tries; L Kelly goal) at Newcastle No.2 Sports Ground.