Canterbury Vs Wentworthville Magpies
Belmore Sports Ground, Saturday, June 14
Referee: Zbigniew Przeklasa-Adamski
By Shane Brien
Round 14: Three late tries saw the Wentworthville Magpies come from behind to beat a brave Canterbury outfit 22-20 at Belmore Sports Ground.
Despite both teams sitting at the opposite ends on the ladder, the 12th placed Bulldogs produced an inspired performance last weekend beating the Warriors 28-0 and early on it looked like they would notch up another upset against the 2nd placed Magpies.
The Bulldogs opened the scoring in the 5th minute on the back of a clever little grubber from second rower David Minute. Levi Brennan finishing off the attacking sequence diving over in the corner for a 4-0 lead.
Bulldogs five-eighth Patrick Templeman snuck over from close range in the 15th minute and last season’s leading point scorer in the Holden Cup converted his own try to give the home team a handy 10-0 lead.
The Bulldogs were well and truly on top when in the 28th minute halfback ran the ball and popped a pass to fullback Tyrone Phillips who burst into the clear from 25 metres out to score their third try of the half. Templeman added the extras to extend their lead to 16-0.
The Magpies finally registered their first points of the game late in the half when they went wide through skipper Liam Foran. Fullback Api Pewhairaingi fired a cut-out pass to winger Henry Raiwalui and he crossed in the corner for a crucial try just before the break. Former Manly and Melbourne playmaker Liam Foran nailed the sideline conversion to make it 16-6 at halftime.
It only took the Bulldogs two minutes to register first points in the second half when McGrady threw a superb cut out ball that hit winger Brennan on the chest who showed some deft footwork to score in corner for his second.
The Bulldogs had a 14 point buffer however; the Magpies slowly clawed their way back into the match.
A lack of Bulldogs discipline and a string of offloads hurt the home team and the game took a dramatic turn with the visitors piling on three tries in the space of ten minutes.
The first of those tries came in 65th minute through interchange forward Danny Howard who brushed through some flimsy Bulldogs defence to score soft try from close range. A successful Foran conversion saw the Magpies down by 8 with time on the clock.
From the kick-off, Canterbury forward Makahesi Makatoa produced a huge hit on Tongan International Fui Fui Moi Moi which forced the crowd favourite from the field. The tackle was placed on report though.
With ten minutes to go it became a two point ball game when former Rooster and Cowboy Ben Jones dived over next to the posts courtesy of a Taniela Lasalo pass. Foran made it three from three and Wentworthville now had all the momentum.
The Bulldogs were barely hanging but the Magpies weren’t to be denied and they hit the front for the first time in the match in the 75th minute when a set piece from the scrum ten metres out saw left winger Bureta Faraimo wrong foot the Bulldogs defence to crash over next to the post for his 13th try of the season . Foran’s conversion hit the upright but momentum was well and truly with the visitors despite only holding a two point lead.
The Magpies held on for their second nail-biting victory in as many weeks as they head into the bye.
Wentworthville Magpies 22 (B Jones, B Faraimo, H Raiwalui, D Howard tries; L Foran 3 goals) def. Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 20 (K Brennan 2, D Minute, T Phillips tries; P Templeman 2 goals) at Belmore Sports Ground.