Wentworthville were never headed in securing back-to-back Ron Massey Cup Premierships with a commanding 32-18 grand final victory over Mounties at St Marys Leagues Stadium.
Despite losing second-rower Valu Nasio to injury during the warm-up, the Magpies’ opened a 16-8 first half advantage before a stunning second half hat-trick by replacement forward Daniel Penese rounded out the clubs fourth title in five seasons.
Mounties got off to the worst possible start losing possession in the opening set of the game which was compounded when Jarome MacKenzie grounded a fumbled Aaron Fluke in-goal grubber to open a 6-0 lead in the second minute.
The Premiers got their own dose of the fumbles gifting Mounties several opportunities from close range before Fluke relieved the pressure with a 40-20 in the eleventh minute. The Magpies extended the margin to ten points one minute later after centre KJ MacKenzie attracted several defenders before providing winger Arthur Takapu an open passage to the right corner.
Several willing exchanges ended with consecutive penalties to Mounties which Brett Lahey put to good use with a short-ball sending second-rower Grant Lahey through a gap to touchdown in the 25th minute. The score remained 10-4 after Blake Davies failed to convert in the blustery conditions.
The Magpies lifted a gear towards the end of the half getting in the face of five-eighth Davies forcing his last play kick over the sideline on the full. Replacement Wenty hooker Brendan Waters burrowed over from dummy half in the following set which Fluke converted for a 16-4 margin six minutes from the break.
Mounties reduced the deficit to eight on the stroke of halftime with a crucial try to Tim Tautuaa after Takapu failed to control a Brett Lahey in-goal grubber.
The opening of the second stanza was a replay of the first with Wenty scoring after a Mounties handling error four minutes in. Waters dominance continued out of dummy half, this time holding up a beautiful ball for Penese to cross near the posts. Fluke added the extras for a decisive 22-8 lead.
Mounties’ comeback hopes spiralled when injury forced playmaker Davies from the field after 47 minutes which was closely followed by a melee as tensions reached boiling point. Penese’s second try from a well-placed Fluke cross-kick provided significant breathing space for Wenty at 28-8 with 26 minutes left on the clock.
Replacement Fred Pakutoa was on hand to make it 28-12 after finishing a Brett Lahey-Vinnie Uelese cross-kick combination in the 58th minute. Any chance of a Mounties comeback was extinguished by a desperate try saving tackle from fullback Jarome MacKenzie when Tautuaa looked a shoe-in to end a fifty metre movement in the left corner after 66 minutes.
Penese ensured the trophy remained at Wentworthville for another year scoring his third through Mounties left edge in the 68th minute. Wenty’s victory margin was reduced to fourteen when lock Nick Kassis crossed under the posts in the final six minutes for a final score line of 32-18.
Wentworthville Magpies 32 (D Penese 3, J MacKenzie, A Takapu, B Waters tries; A Fluke 4 goals) def. Mounties 18 (G Lahey, A Tuatuaa, F Pakutoa, N Kassis tries; B Lahey goal)
30/09/2013 1:30:00 PM