Extremely warm conditions were the order of the day at Ringrose Park as Wenty were taking on the winless Jets. Late withdrawals from the Sharks NRL team resulted in a few changes to the Newtown line up, whereas Wenty were bolstered by the inclusion of Josh Hoffman, George Jennings, Ray Stone and Matt McIlwrick and the resulting shift of French to the halves.
Last week Wenty suffered a one point loss with Norths kicking a field goal in the final seconds. The Magpies had been tipped by some pundits to finish near the bottom of the table, and were sitting at a win and two losses coming into this clash.
The first twenty-five minutes of this encounter were dominated by the referee’s whistle. The teams traded penalties, along with heavy collisions, during this period. Stone, Fainga’a and Davey featured with big contact moments in close with Parry doing his bit out wide.
Though the play went end to end, neither team looked likely to trouble the scoreboard until Bevan French’s first moment of individual wizardry with twelve minutes left in the first half.
A chip and chase from inside the Jets half saw the ball drawn like a magnet to the mercurial speedster who regathered on the fly to cross close to the posts.
Just six minutes later, French proved that his kicking game was on song with a short cross field kick that was akin to a pinpoint forward pass. Ray Stone timed his chase to perfection, reeling the kick in to place it down between the posts. The two conversions from Davies saw the Magpies hit the sheds at 12 nil up.
The second half began in spectacular fashion with a powerful George Jennings tackle going horribly wrong, resulting in the Jets player going headfirst into the turf.
The penalty would result in a report, a HIA and a sin bin, as George equalled the feat of his older brother.
The Jets immediately made the Magpies pay with barge over try to Vasquez after he’d been held up for what seemed an eternity. The conversion narrowed the gap to 6, with eight minutes of sin bin time and 35 minutes game time remaining.
Unfortunately for Newtown, they turned the ball over from the kick off as a powerful tackle from Wenty forced a much needed error. A few tackles later, a determined charge from Stone delivered his second try and an 18 to 6 lead.
With Jennings back in the action, the Magpies turned the pressure on. It was that man French again firstly regathering his kick, this time off a rebound, then firing a cut out pass for Goolagong to stroll over. The score had blown out to 24 to 6 with 24 minutes left.
But French was far from finished. Not long after Davey had snuffed out a near certain Jets try with an impressive tackle on the line jolting the ball free, French again produced an individual chip and chase try to extend the lead to 30 to 6.
The Magpies then allowed one of their own attacking kicks to bounce, with the Jets gathering the ball and working play downfield. They made Wenty pay with a try to Talakai but the conversion from close in was missed, leaving the score at 30 to 10 with around 11 minutes left on the clock.
The last ten minutes would belong to the Wenty boys, as firstly Miller scored between the posts, then Hoffman regathered a kick from that stand out player of the day – French. Hoff’s converted try would conclude the scoring in this convincing victory to the Magpies.
In a match where all Wenty players produced good performances, best on the field were French and Stone.
Wenty 42 : Tries – French 2, Stone 2, Hoffman, Goolagong, Miller. Goals- Davies 3, Keighran 4 defeated Newtown 10: Tries – Talakai, Vasquez. Goal – Trindall