Western Suburbs and The Entrance played out a heartstopping 24-24 draw at Lidcombe last Saturday before a boisterous crowd.
Wests piled on the early pressure and registered the first try of the day after seven minutes, a passing movement to the right seeing Sam Aiga swerve his way over. Dayne Craig pulled the conversion wide, the Magpies up by four.
The Entrance gave up a penalty off the back of quick play the balls from the set off the restart and Wests took full toll, Sonny Bristow slotting through on the left this time. Dayne Craig made amends for his earlier miss, putting the Magpies into double figures.
The Entrance started to settle into a groove and, courtesy of a Magpies error, went over in the opposite corner through Alan Mulia Malau after offloads from Ryan O’Hara and Faailonga Foini. Matt Killick nailed the touchline kick, Wests ahead by four after 19 minutes.
The Magpies nearly took advantage off the restart, ill discipline seeing both Alan Munro and Jake Fitzpatrick sent to the bin by referee Ryan Jackson, but the final pass on a backline powerplay went into touch.
Rather than hang on, The Entrance used their two man shortage to fire up, and they touched down on 25 minutes, Faailonga Foini crashing over next to the posts. Killick’s simple kick split the uprights, The Entrance hitting the front with 14 minutes to the break.
Wests finally took advantage of their two man break on the half hour, with Corey Brown touching down out wide after a three man overlap for Wests. Dayne Craig was having an off day with the boot, putting the kick wide, leaving Wests ahead by two.
The Entrance peppered Sam Aiga with short kicks in behind the line for almost the entire first half, and they found paydirt with just two minutes left in the half, Jake Fitzpatrick following through to snap the ball up and touch down under the posts. Matt Killick’s simple conversion successful, The Entrance took an 18-14 lead to the interval.
Wests found a sft spot in the Tigers’ line after just four minutes into the second stanza, but Mason Talolua was forced into the goalpost, resulting in a knock-on over the line according to referee Jackson.
From the ensuing set, Alan Munro burst through the Magpie line and sold a dummy to Sam Aiga, Munro going all the way to touch down under the posts for a 24-14 lead, courtesy of Matt Killick’s successful conversion.
Wests needed to score first in the second half and, after some heartstopping moments, did so after Dayne Craig waited for the Tigers’ defence to go wide, barging over from acting half. Craig converted his own try and Wests were back in the hunt after 55 minutes at 24-20.
Frustration crept in as The Entrance received a penalty for some roughing up in the play the ball, the Tigers taking the chance to kick for goal through Matt Killick, the kick pushed across the face of goal after 58 minutes.
The Entrance pinned for a lifting tackle, Wests piled the pressure on the orange line and, with the forwards tiring, Dayne Craig barged over for his second. After getting hurt in scoring the try, Craig gave the kick to Junior Vaivai, who pulled it wide, the scores locked at 24 with 15 minutes to the end.
The Magpie faithful erupted as Rusty Bristow appeared to touch down after an Andrew Sultana bomb, only for the referee to call the bat down from Tom Satterswaite as having gone forward.
The Entrance received a penalty fr a shoulder charge with five minutes to go, enraging the Lidcombe faithful. However, Matt Killick sprayed the goal wide, the scores still locked with four minutes to go, with Junior Vaivai slicing a field goal attempt wide in the final minute, the final result a 24-24 deadlock.
WESTERN SUBURBS 24 (Dayne Craig 2, Sam Aiga, Sonny Bristow, Corey Brown tries; Dayne Craig 2 from 4, Junior Vaivai 0 from 1)
THE ENRANCE 24 (Alan Mulia Malau, Faailonga Foini, Jake Fitzpatrick, Alan Munro tries: Matt Killick 4 from 6)
Halftime: Wests 14 The Entrance 18
Penalties: Wests 6 The Entrance 9
1. Sam Aiga
6. Trent Jennings
5. Corey Brown
3. Rusty Bristow
2. Tom Satterswaite
4. Junior Vaivai
7. Andrew Sultana
8. Shane Lalogafau
9. Dayne Craig
20. Sam Hollis
11. Nu Akeripa
17. Luke Williams
13. Tunui Maurangi
10. Jarrad Szczudlo
12. Mason Talolua
18. Sonny Bristow
19. Fred Tevago
1. Matt Killick
2. Sunai Fatialofa
3. Alan Mulia Malau
4. Brad Chatfield
5. Harley Ridge
15. Tyler Hepi
7. Jake Fitzpatrick ©
17. Sinbad Kali
9. Jye Newton
10. Dylan Theuerjahr
11. Troy Adams
12. Alan Munro
13. Tim Baldwin
8. Faailonga Foini
14. Shane Wooden
20. Ryan O’Hara
21. Ryan Jowett