Wentworthville Magpies Vs Illawarra Cutters
Pirtek Stadium, Saturday, May 17
Referee: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski
By Shane Brien
Round 10: In a top of the table clash, a second half fight back saw Wentworthville Magpies defeat the Illawarra Cutters 36-30 at Pirtek Stadium.
An early Illawarra Cutters mistake saw Wentworthville open the scoring after just 90 following a Luke Kelly offload which allowed Justin Hunt to score out wide. Kelly added the extras to make it 6-0.
The visitors hit back in the sixth minute when Hunt failed to take a Sam WIlliams bomb and prop forward Rory O'Brien was on the spot to collect the loose ball and crash over for the try. Michael Witt kick at goal was successful and the game was all squared up at 6-all.
Illawarra hit the lead following a strong tackle from Charly Runciman on Ryan Morgan which saw Sam Williams scoop up the loose ball and race 55 metres to score. Witt's conversion saw the visitors leading 12-6.
Running the ball on the last tackle paid dividends for the Magpies with Luke Kelly linking up with Morgan who in turn passed to Bureta Faraimo who showed plenty of strength to score in the corner. Kelly’s superb touchline conversion locked up the scores at 12-all midway through the first half.
A lack of discipline from the Cutters saw Wentworthville on the attack once again and Justin Hunt took advantage of some flimsy defence to score his second try of the match. Kelly had no trouble with the conversion and the Magpies found themselves a converted try ahead at 18-12.
Another Sam Williams bomb and another Magpies error saw the Cutters once again score but it was Sam Williams following up on his own kick to collect the loose ball to touch down in the 35th minute. Witt kicked the goal to send the teams all tied up 18-18 at half-time.
The Cutters were first to register second half points with Charly Runciman scoring out wide in the 42nd minute. Another successful conversion from Witt saw the visitors hit the lead 24-18.
Cutters extended their lead when Williams split the defence before sending Mataka over for the try. Witt kicked the goal to give his side a 30-18 advantage.
Hunt went close to scoring in the 53rd minute but was tackled just inches short. It didn't matter as cult hero Fui Fui Moi Moi crashed over on the following tackle. Kelly kicked the goal to make the deficit just six points.
Three minutes later, winger Henry Raiwalui raced down the sideline to score following a superb off-load from Vai Toutai. Kelly couldn't convert, leaving Illawarra with a two point lead.
Justin Hunt continued his strong game setting up the Magpies next try with an inside ball to Ryan Morgan who scored in the 70th minute. Kelly kicked his fifth goal of the day to put the Magpies in the lead 34-30.
A crucial penalty goal in the 77th minute extended the Magpies lead to 6 and that was enough for the home side to hang on and collect the two competition points.
The Magpies will enjoy the weekend off with a bye knowing they sit on top of the table heading into the backend of the season in good form
Wentworthville Magpies 36 (J Hunt 2, B Faraimo, H Raiwalui, R Morgan, F Moi Moi tries; L Kelly 6 goals) def. Illawarra Cutters 30 (S Williams 2, C Runciman, W Mataka, R O'Brien tries; M Witt 5 goals) at Pirtek Stadium.