After shooting to a useful 14-4 lead the Vodafone Warriors had to settle for a 14-26 loss to the highly-placed Wentworthville Magpies in today’s fifth-round Intrust Super Premiership match at Ringrose Park in Sydney.
The Stacey Jones-coached side had started by conceding an early try but then responded impressively.
First second rower Marata Niukore took defenders across the line with him for a try halfback Mason Lino converted in his first appearance of the season following knee surgery.
And soon they were 14-4 ahead with tries wide out to Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and the prolific Ken Maumalo. Coming off a hat-trick in last week’s loss Maumalo made it six tries for the season already.
Lino couldn’t convert the second and third tries but, having established a lead inside the first quarter, the Vodafone Warriors then found themselves in a grim battle.
By halftime it was 14-14 as the Magpies came back with two tries but neither side could break the deadlock in the third quarter as the contest settled into an arm wrestle.
It wasn’t until the last 15 minutes that Wentworthville took the lead and then sealed the result with its fifth try of the match three minutes from time.
With a two wins-three losses record the Vodafone Warriors are eighth equal on four points but ninth on points for and against.
They’re on the road again next Sunday facing the North Sydney Bears.
Match details | Ringrose Park, Sydney
Wentworthville Magpies 26 (Scott Schulte 2, Luke Kelly, Cameron King, Rory O'Brien tries; Mitch Cornish 3 conversions).
Vodafone Warriors 14 (Marata Niukore, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Ken Maumalo tries; Mason Lino conversion).
Referee: Ryan Jackson.
Vodafone Warriors | Henare Wells; Ken Maumalo, David Fusitu’a, Jonathan Wright, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad; Ata Hingano, Mason Lino; Upu Poching, Erin Clark, Ali Lauitiiti; Marata Niukore, Sione Lousi; John Palavi (c). Interchange: Viliami Kaveinga, Toafofoa Sipley, James Bell, Paul Tuli.