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Wentworthville Magpies defeat Newcastle Knights 42 - 22

June 17  2012

by Jodie Newell

Wentworthville Magpies have convincingly defeated the Newcastle Knights 42 - 22 in Round 16 action of the VB NSW Cup match played at Ringrose Oval.

A close encounter was expected due to the similar positions both teams share on the current ladder. Aided by a strong breeze, the Magpies were the first to score in the third minute when Troy Savage broke free of the Newcastle defence. Full-Back Jake Mullaney couldn't convert, leaving the scoreline at 4-0.

Newcastle who have been slow starters in previous weeks, couldn't find their mojo and made a number of handling errors. Wentworthville’s Mullaney capitalised, with an explosive line-break that was defused by excellent chase down by Kevin  Naiqama. With good field position and thanks to a penalty, the Magpies increased their lead with a try from Nathan Smith. Score 8-0.

The Knights were simply not in the game, with excellent running from Prop Shane Shackleton providing a handful for the opposition defence. Wentworthville would score again thanks to a 40/20 and then good passing from Nathan Smith to Jake Mullaney who made it to the try-line and was successful with the conversion. 14-0.

Newcastle needed some inspiration in getting back into the game and it happened courtesy of an enterprising steal from Peter Matautia who drove down the field. Kevin Naiqama busted through the Wenty defence and the Knights were back in the game. Sharp shooting kicker Josh Mantellato made no mistake leaving the score at 14-6.

Both sides tried to gain ascendency, but both were hampered with handling errors. Wentworthville were the first to steady when Jake Mullaney slipped through a Peter Matautia tackle and converted, giving the Magpies a handy 20-6 lead.

That’s how the half ended. The question for Newcastle was, could they come home with a fast finish as in previous weeks.

That question was quickly answered by the Magpies in superb fashion with an excellent run from Esi Tonga who passed to Mullaney who then passed to Troy Savage. Wentworthville increased their lead 24-6.

Wenty’s Shane Shackleton continued with his excellent form and helped to set up the next try via a pass to Taniela Lasalo who gained some excellent metres, with Danny Howard finding himself over the line. Jake Mullaney converted and the lead had blown out to 24 points for Wentworthville, 30-6.

The Magpies would not let the Knights get back into the game and kept up their scoring pressure via a sneaky try from Mullaney who made it in for his second of the game, Wehbe converted and the door was pretty much closed to any hopes of a Newcastle victory. 36-6.


Again Newcastle’s five-eighth  Peter Matautia intercepted, this time for a try. Mantellato converted and the very slim chance of a Knights win was kept alive with some twenty five minutes remaining. They continued to fight for the ball and another try was soon posted on the board thanks to some excellent defensive efforts from Kevin Naiqama. Newcastle earned a penalty and Siuatonga Likiliki scored a try, Mantellato again got the extras and the lead had now been halved. 36-18.

Wenty had seen enough and thanks to an under the posts try to Peni Terepo and conversion from Wehbe the game was all but over. 42-18.

Newcastle managed a late consolation try though Marvin Filipo with a rare miss by Josh Mantellato and the score ended at 42-22 in favour of Wentworthville.

It was an excellent effort by the Wentworthville side, who kept up their work rate never letting the Knights into the game. For Newcastle, they would be disappointed after showing some good form in the past weeks.

A very satisfied Wenty coach, Brett Cook told his players in a huddle after the game to: “Enjoy the win tonight boys, we’ll go out have a few drinks, have a good feed and be ready for the coming weeks”.

Wentworthville enjoy a weeks break whilst for Newcastle they face the combine, Balmain Ryde Eastwood next week at Leichhardt.

Final score:  Wentworthville Magpies 44 defeated Newcastle Knights 22

Tries Wenty : T Savage 2, J Mullaney 2, KJ MacKenzie, N Smith, D Howard, P Terepo

Tries Knights : M Filipo, P Matautia, S Likiliki, K Naiqama

Conversions Wenty : J Mullaney 3, J Wehbe 2

Conversions Knights : J Mantellato 3

Some Observations on Sunday:

  1. BulletNice touch by the Wentworthville Magpies to observe a minutes silence before the game for club stalwart John Dover who recently passed away. And it was a minute’s silence, everyone at the ground, fans, Wenty, the Knights, the refs all quietly paid their respect. Good to see folks taking notice.

  1. BulletThe Wenty canteen would seriously have to be THE canteen in all of Sydney rugby league. We had been advised by NSWRL’s media guru Brad Preston that the famous “Wenty Burger” is fantastic and is one to put on the “bucket list”. Sad to report they had all sold out, get this, 45 minutes prior to commencement of the main game.Amazing they are that popular. Nice simple coffee, great steak sandwiches and chips n gravy. Perfect to combat the winter chills. There’s just something about Aussie sports canteens which make it a great day out at the local game.

  1. BulletVery impressed with Wentworthville coach, Brett Cook. he gathered his players around and summarised their efforts and told them to enjoy the win. The thing that impressed us was we spotted Cook having a one to one chat with losing Newcastle coach Rip Taylor after the game. We said G’day to Rip who was obviously disappointed with his teams loss.

  1. BulletMany thanks to the Wenty club officials (Brett “Macca”McKenna) who helped our day. In particular we’d like to thank John “Emu” Stephenson who helped us find a spot to place our bag and help with other logistics. It’s great to be able to meet people such as Emu and realise how vital club volunteers are to the game of rugby league and sports in general.

  1. BulletThere wasn't much joy for Newcastle yesterday, they just couldn't get their game plan happening. Kevin Naiqama who had been demoted after the Knights shock loss to the Raiders played very well as did kicker Josh Mantellato who’s a tough lad. He took a punishing tackle from the Wenty defence in the first half. It took a couple of minutes for Josh to recover, but was back fighting fit for the rest of the game.

  1. BulletFinally the weather. On Saturday it didn't stop raining. Thankfully Sunday was a perfect sunny Sydney winter’s day.

The Wentworthville defence dominated the Knights for the majority of the game

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