Wentworthville Magpies squad
1. Bevan French
2. Greg Leleisiuao
3. Josh Hoffman
4. Ethan Parry
5. Maika Sivo
6. Jaeman Salmon
7. Rhys Davies
8. Kane Evans
9. Brad Keighran
10. Oregon Kaufusi
11. Andrew Davey
12. Salesi Fainga’a
13. David Gower
14. Stefano Utoikamanu
15. D’Rhs Miller
16. Blake Cook
17. Piki Rogers
Oh wow, straight into the next game now. We are talking old school scheduling here. Wenty receiving the ball in the first half.
I am not sure if that was intentional but the Panthers kick short from the kick off and end up batting it back to gain possession. Surprise twist at the start of this game. Wenty defend their goal line brilliantly though and hold out on the last after the kick is deflected off Salmon’s foot. Maika Sivo ends up making the important tackle there.
A good offload and some greats hands from Faingaa put Hoffman into space but he is pulled down from behind after a 30m gain. The bomb on the last falls in the field of play, well-weighted, but the kick chase isn’t quite up to par and the Panthers get out to their 20m mark.
French ends up taking the clearing kick with ease. Sivo provides a good run on the second but Leleisiuao throws a poor offload on the third tackle forcing Faingaa to clean things up. A shortside raid down the right edge nearly puts Hoffman and Sivo into space but the line-breaking pass is called back by the touchy.
Penrith complete their next set without event. Their bomb on the last is taken easily by Leleisiuao and the Penrith chase is immediately pinged for not retreating 10m after getting called out. A second penalty follows for a high tackle but time is off for a banged up Panther.
Davey gets the first up carry from the tap restart. Good run by Oregon on the second, carrying defenders there. Two passes wide to Evans on the third as Wenty load up on the left. It is a bait though as Salmon swings right to find Faingaa. Good defence brings him down. A poor kick by Rhys Davies on the last is trapped in the front line and Penrith survive.
A good defensive set follows by Wenty. French takes the clearing kick in good field position as a result before Sivo provides a strong ruck carry. Gower earns a penalty for a high shot and Wenty have rolled downfield in a second. Evans breaks a tackle in the red zone but can’t find support. Oregon goes close as well but is desperately pulled down by scrambling defenders. The momentum is with Wenty now though and Parry surges onto a crash ball off the hip of Davies to storm over with defenders draped all over him!
Try scored by Ethan Parry. Conversion unsuccessful by Davies.
Wenty lead 4-0
Solid carry by Evans from the kickoff. Gower gets the ball on the third and offloads as the ball finds its way to Salmon who makes a half break. Faingaa leads a shortside raid down the right and tries to kick ahead for his back but miscues the attempt and the Panthers dive on the errant kick.
Another strong showing in defence by Wenty but Penrith get lost on the last and send a forward out for a stock standard hit up. Big break down by their play-makers there.
Another useful run by Sivo as he sheds a couple of defenders to make 15m up the middle. Salmon pops up through the middle and links up with French but the defence are awake to it. Davies completes the set with a bomb but it goes uncontested as it barely outstrips its chasers. Still, Parry and Davies get downfield to make the tackle 10m off the Penrith goal line.
Hoffman has been pulled, injury I assume at play. A Wenty depth player has entered the game as his replacement.
Wenty continue to defend well in the mean time but Penrith are starting to gain the ascendancy in field position – largely on the back of a poor clearing kick from Davies that rolls dead. Wenty look to up the ante off a powerful carry by Kane Evans as he sorties nearly 20m before flicking a perfect offload to Leleisiuao in support but the winger drops it cold. That is a killer mistake.
Faingaa has laid out some brutal shots in the first half and adds a couple more this set. Punishing defence from the young backrower. Wenty dodge a bullet as the Panthers produce an unforced error. Parry and Leleisuiao lead the charge with the latter earning a penalty as he is held down.
Unfortunately it quickly comes undone as Evans grasses a shocker of a pass from Salmon. The big man never had a chance there.
Again though, the Panthers can only produce a mistake in reply to the initial error from the Eels.
Evans the man making a play again as he draws a penalty.
Big run from Faingaa from the restart. Left now as Salmon links up with Oregon in the middle. A good carry again. Gower offloads to Evans who takes the run before Wenty work left to Davey. Loaded right edge but they left, the wrong call, and Davies kicks along the ground. A poor kick though and Penrith clean it up in the field of play. It is quickly compounded by a penalty.
After holding out the Panthers until the end of the set, a momentary lapse from the replacement centre leaves Sivo on his lonesome to try and make a try saving tackle. He nearly does so but the #3 for Penrith rolls through the contact to barely get the ball down.
Try scored by the Penrith Panthers. Conversion successful.
Penrith lead 6-4
After seeing off Penrith’s next set the Magpies get on the front foot with a great carry by Parry. A penalty comes two tackels later when Davey gets collared roughly. Might be a crusher tackle there. Penalty comes for Wenty. Davey is left real dusty by the affair and the trainer attends him.
Nice pass from French to Faingaa with the latter providing a good run. French then chimes in down the left with a nasty grubber kick that takes a Wenty bounce. Leleisiuao wasn’t pushing through fast enough t oscore a try but Wenty do get a line drop out.
Stefano Utoikamanu is on and takes the first charge from the drop out. He is back a couple of tackles later as he surges into the defensive line. Third hit up for the young bull now as he nearly storms over under the posts! The defence barely repel him and Wenty go left on the last. French throws a long cutout to Leleisuiao but the nuggety winger has nothing but defenders ahead of him and has to take the tackle for the turnover.
Wenty are struggling to gain traction through the middle in their next possession and French goes for the all or nothing 40/20 on the last tackle. It has the length and angle but sails barely half a metre over the sideline on the full. That could be a pivotal error.
Sure enough the Panthers waste little time punishing Wenty for the gifted possession as Leleisuiao shoots up out wide on the left and misses his target. The Panthers are able to stroll in untouched out wide as a result and secure the potential two-score lead.
Try scored by the Penrith Panthers. Conversion unsuccessful.
Penrith lead 10-4
An unlikely result for Wenty a few sets later as they take the ball down the right on the last and a kick from Sivo results in his opposite number gaining possession of the ball and then putting a foot on the sideline.
Just rewards for Salesi! Salmon glides to the right and hits Faingaa at the line with a money ball and the barnstorming backrower can’t be stopped from that range! Great play from two of Wenty’s youngest and brightest.
Try scored by Salesi Faingaa. Conversion unsuccessful.
Parramatta trail 8-10
Parramatta Eels 8 trail the Penrith Panthers 10
Penrith receiving the kick off. Wholesale changes for Wenty as their Ron Massey talent get a run. Davey, Faingaa and Utoikamanu look to be the only really recognisable first grade prospects on the field now.
A nice interchange between Davies and Davey in Wenty’s first possession puts the tall backrower between defenders but he just can’t find support with an offload. The fifth tackle pass from dummy half is a shocker and Wenty have to rush a kick before conceding a penalty. Penrith work their way into Wenty’s redzone before making an error in the play the ball to take the foot off the throat.
As you might expect there has been a significant drop off in the quality of play but Wenty have defended their goal line resolutely in the face of a wave of Penrith possession. Their grit and stubbornness are rewarded as the Penrith fullback spills a pass sweeping down his right edge.
Not much to report still from the second half but Wenty get a relieving penalty late in the tackle count to take them deep into Penrith’s half.
Oh dear that was hilarious! A second ball pops back onto the field from the tap restart and a Penrith defender races out to scoop it up thinking he has effected a turnover. It takes him a second to realise the ball runner has actually gone passed him.
Wenty spin right after the comedy capers and nearly put Faingaa over for a double but he cops a high shot. Penalty. Tap and go as Wenty look to attack down their left but a tip on travels forwards into the Penrith winger. Turnover.
Wenty continue to impress in defence, even if their fluency in attack is stuttering. Pretty good hit out from the Ron Massey outfit in the second half.
As I type that Salesi Faingaa bursts through the right edge and sprints into the backfield. The young backrower is having a whale of a game and he links up with support on his right but his backup is gunned down. Straight to the right edge again and a blatantly offside defender kills the play – easiest sin bin call you will every see. Referee gets it right to no shock.
A double knock on against Penrith early in the following set leads to so time off for an injured Magpie.
No result comes for Wenty though as they lose the ball attacking down their right edge.
Ahhh! Another good attacking raid is undone by an error. Piki Rogers the impetus for that opportunity with a terrific carry down the left edge but on the following play the Magpies can’t keep a hold of the pill. Once again the defensive intensity has been brilliant but Wenty haven’t had the patience in attack to put the Panthers away.
Ironically just as the Magpies run in the reinforcements with Evans, Gower and Kaufusi coming on to close out the game the Panthers make a line break from a kick return. Fortunately the pass to a support player is a good 10m forwards and support defenders dive on the loose ball.
An exciting set concludes with Kane Evans putting in a damn good grubber kick that Penrith barely get back into the field of play.
Ooph, a flurry of errors from both teams here as the game enters the final 5min.
Another great run from Piki Rogers puts Wenty on the Penrith goal line and a penalty comes on the next play. Tap and go to Kaufusi. Evans up next before a great offload from Gower opens up a right edge play. Wenty look to have cut through out wide with their #20 but he has lost the ball over the line. Dear oh dear that is a brutal blow.
2min on the clock now as Wenty get a 20m restart quickly followed by a penalty. One last roll of the dice to steal a win here. Annnnnnd forget it as Dylan Izzard puts foot to ball on a kick that is way, way, way too heavy as it rolls dead with ease.
30sec left now and that will just about do us. Hang on, one last error from Penrith enable Wenty to set a scrum with 12sec on the clock. Or maybe it won’t, the scrum was set but the siren rings out and both teams are happy to call it quits.
Penrith Panther 10 def. Wentworthville Magpies 8