Wentworthville Magpies Vs Cronulla Sharks
Henson Park, Saturday, May 10
Referee: Damien Briscoe
By Shane Brien
Round 9: Wentworthville Magpies scraped home against the Cronulla Sharks 30-28 at Henson Park last Saturday afternoon.
It was all the Sharks in opening exchanges but the Magpies showed why they sit top of the ladder with a gritty performance.
Sione Masima opened the scoring for the Sharks after 14 minutes from a kick to give the Sharks a 6-0 lead after Travis Robinson converted.
The Sharks extended their lead when Scott Sorensen crossed just three minutes later.
The Magpies opened their account in the 22nd minute when Ryan Matterson but the Sharks responded when Masima went over for his second try in the 27th minute. Robinson’s conversion saw the Sharks leading 18-4.
The injection of Ben Jones for Wentworthville saw them spark into life with John Folau scoring in the corner in the 34th minute after a number of handling errors from the Sharks. Api Pewhairangi couldn’t convert from out wide, leaving the scores at 18-8.
Just before half-time, Jones continued to cause issues for the Sharks combining with Justin Hunt who sent Ryan Morgan over for a try. Hunt took over the goal-kicking duties and he was spot on with the kick to make it 18-14 at half-time.
The game was in the balance but the class of the competition leaders shone through with the Magpies going over twice in three minutes to lead 24-18. The first came in the 56th minute through Vai Toutai before Justin Hunt crossed soon after to give the Magpies the lead for the first time in the game.
The Sharks responded well and levelled up in the 63rd minute with Masima scoring his third try of the day. Robinson kicked the extras and it was all square at 24-all.
Handling errors continued to hurt the Sharks and the Magpies capitalised when Matterson scored his second try of the game. Hunt kicked his third goal from as many attempts to make the score 30-24.
With 11 minutes remaining, Jacob Gagan scored for the Sharks but Robinson failed to kick the goal leaving the Magpies hanging on to a two point lead.
The win by Wentworthville saw them remain in outright first place. This weekend they do battle with second-placed Illawarra Cutters at Pirtek Stadium..
Wentworthville Magpies 30 (R Matterson 2, J Hunt, J Folau, R Morgan, V Toutai tries; J Hunt 3 goals) def. Cronulla Sharks 28 (S Masima 3, J Gagan, S Sorensen tries; T Robinson 4 goals) at Henson Park.