Wentworthville Magpies Vs NZ Warriors
Belmore Sports Ground, Saturday, March 8
Referee: Adam Gee
Wentworthville MAGPIES - 1. Justin Hunt 2. Ken Sio 3. Ryan Morgan 19. Jake Butler-Fleming 5. Bureta FAaraimo 6. Toby Evans 7. Chris Sandow 26. Taniela Lasalo 9. Liam Foran 20. Mitchell Allgood 11. Joseph Ualesi 21. David Gower 13. Lorenzo Ma’afu
Reserves 14. Ben Jones 15. Brendan Santi 10. Daniel Alvaro 18. Joseph Matapuku
COACH: Brett Cook
NZ WARRIORS - 1. Steve Waetford 2. David Fusitua 3. Konrad Hurrell 4. Ngani Laumape 5. Jarred Wilson 6. Ben Henry 7. Tuimoala Lolohea 8. Sam Lisone 9. Michael Sio 10. Charlie Gubb 11. Raymond Faitala-Marinrer 12. Agnatius Passi 13. Sebastine Ikahihifoi
Reserves 14. Siliva Havili 15. Upu Poching 16. David Bhana 17. Abraham Papalii 18. Jarrod Tua
COACH: Rohan Smith
Round 1 saw the Magpies defeat a Vodafone Warriors outfit marking their historic first New South Wales Cup outing at Belmore Sports Ground last Saturday.
The Warriors, playing in the competition under their own name for the first time, were left reeling as the home side wasted no time opening the scoring with Ken Sio within 60 seconds of the opening whistle.
Not content with one try, Sio then latched onto an intercept before racing 90 metres to score in the seventh minute.
Just when Magpies fans thought things couldn’t get any better, they were in again just two minutes later with Lorenzo Ma'afu stretched out to score.
With a commanding 16-0 lead in the opening 10 minutes and Chris Sandow directing traffic you could easily be forgiven in thinking the Magpies would notch up a cricket score but to their credit, the Warriors bounced back with tries to Ben Henry and Raymond Faitala-Mariner to reduce the deficit to just six points.
Tries to the Magpies either side of halftime through forwards Daniel Alvaro and Ma'afu halted any momentum the Warriors had going into the break but they continued to press the Magpies defence.
Eventually being rewarded with two tries is as many minutes to winger Jarred Wilson the Warriors found themselves once again within a converted try of surprisingly levelling up the match.
At 26-20 and delicately poised, the Magpies had to find a way to stop an inspired Warriors comeback but the bounce of the ball was firmly with the visitors and when five-eighth Ben Henry featured heavily to send David Fusitua across the stripe. Tuimoala Lolohea had the chance to level up the game with a simple conversion but unfortunately for him and Warriors fans he missed and that left the score at a tantalising 26-24 with 14 minutes to play.
Heading into the final few minutes the Warriors were pressing and looking for an opportunity to turn a two-point deficit into a possible match-winning lead but as they had all day, the Mapgpies had the answers with a try through winger Bureta Faraimo. Sandow converted to take his side out to an eight-point lead.
With both teams scrambling it was the Magpies that finally put an end to any thought of a Warriors victory when right on fulltime Chris Sandow raced over to score. Converting his own try, the Magpies went on to win 38-24.
A game of ebbs and flows, coach Brett Cook would have been proud of the efforts his players showed especially when the Warriors fought back to get within 2 points.
Next week, the Magpies head to Ringrose on Sunday to play host to the Jets.
Wentworthville Magpies 38 (K Sio 2, L Ma’afu 2, B Faraimo, D Alvaro, C Sandow tries; C Sandow 5 goals) def. New Zealand Warriors 24 (J Wilson 2, D Fusitua, B Henry, R Faitala-Mariner tries; T Lolohea 2 goals) at Belmore Sports Ground.