Lower-ranked Wentworthville put together a late points-scoring rally to surge away from an under-manned Auckland Vulcans in their New South Wales Cup encounter at Ringrose Park on Sunday.
After leading 10-0 early on and 16-10 at halftime, the Vulcans were unable to stem the Magpies second half recovery as they went down 22-42.
Despite the defeat the Vulcans remained sixth on the points table going into their final home game of the season against the Mounties at Mount Smart Stadium on Saturday (12.50pm kick-off).
They went into their match against Wentworthville missing several Vodafone Warriors players sidelined with injury including Carlos Tuimavave, Sebastine Ikahihifo, John Palavi, Sam Lousi, Alehana Mara and Russell Packer while Jerome Ropati and Ngani Laumape were again with the NRL squad.
Despite the dent in their playing resources, the Vulcans started well with tries to Viliami Lolohea and Charlie Gubb and followed with another to Atelea Nafetala to hold a 16-6 lead.
The next three tries either side of halftime were all scored by the Magpies as they took a 24-16 lead.
Winger Esera Esera beat several players to put the Vulcans right back in contact at 22-24 but the comeback was short-lived as Wentworthville ran in the last three tries of the contest.
Sitting of 27 points, the Vulcans are assured of playing in the finals. The only question is whether they can hold onto sixth spot to earn a home final; after the ninth-placed Mounties this week, their last regular season match is against the third-ranked North Sydney.
At Ringrose Park, Sydney
Wentworthville Magpies 42 (Henry Raiwalui 2, Dean Parata 2. Domenic Reardon, Brendan McKinnon, Charlie Herekotukutuku tries; Aaron Fluke 7 conversions).
Auckland Vulcans 22 (Viliami Lolohea, Charlie Gubb, Atelea Nafetalai, Esera Esera tries; Sio Siua Taukeiaho 3 conversions).
Halftime: 16-10 Vulcans.
Referee: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski
Vulcans: Tangi Ropati; Viliami Lolohea, Sio Siua Taukeiaho, Atelea Nafetalai, Esera Esera; Steve Waetford, Pita Godinet; Herman Retzlaff, Siliva Havili, Charlie Gubb; Agnatius Paasi, Raymond Faitala-Mariner; David Bhana. Interchange: Murray Iti, Aaron Nootai, Nathaniel Peteru, Daniel Palavi.