The Wyong Roos have overturned a 14-point second-half deficit to cap a 'magical' afternoon at Henson Park, running out 26-24 victors in their Round 11 clash with the Newtown Jets.
Match: Jets v Roos
Round 11 -
Venue: Henson Park
Playing out what was the third of three matches at the ground in the inaugural Intrust Super Premiership Magic Round, A much-improved Wyong outfit rallied to score three tries in the last 20 minutes of play to secure a vital win against their fancied rivals.
Going down in the sides' Round 1, 23-22 showdown at Morry Breen Oval, Newtown opened the scoring in the fourth minute of play, when bullocking centre Bessie Aufaga-Toomaga powered his way over the line from close range to nab the game's first points.
Presented with a difficult conversion attempt from wide-out, half Kyle Flanagan slotted the ensuing shot on goal with apparent ease.
Electric fullback Will Kennedy extended the side's lead beyond double digits just three minutes later, slicing his way through traffic to touch down under the posts. Again, Flanagan turned four points into six, as the Jets raced out by 12.
Showing the resilience which has been lacking at stages throughout 2018, Wyong bounced back with two quick tries of their own. Dean Matterson (11th) and Josh Mantellato (18th) found their way in for successive tries, as the Roos lessened the deficit to just two at half-time.
Upon return to play, Newtown began the second half much the same as they started the first – going in for an early try to once more extend their lead beyond six points.
Playing his fourth match back from a badly broken jaw suffered in Round 1 of the NRL, Sione Katoa carved the Wyong Roos' jets to pieces when he collected an inside ball off Kennedy to score the Jets' third try.
Addison Demetriou assumed the kicking duties with Kyle Flanagan off the field for a Head Injury Assessment, and made no mistake in seeing the home side to an 18-10 front.
The nuggetty utility Demetriou soon broke his way through the Wyong defence to grab a try of his own, and again raised the touch judges' flags to see the Jets up 24-10.
But playing with a will to win, the Roos flicked the switch and hit right back where it mattered most.
Hard-running lock forward Poasa Faamausili muscled his way through the Jets middle to score under the uprights, and Mantellato made no mistake from in front.
At 24-16 down, Wyong had all the momentum, and found their second in quick succession when Paul Momirovski slipped through Aufaga-Toomage to score. The sharp-shooting Mantellato again saw the touch judges' flags raised and the Roos were back within two points.
Without their dominant play-maker Flanagan, Newtown's attack posed little threat – unlike the fast-finishing Roos.
Completing the remarkable come-from-behind win, Wyong's Billy Smith finished a well-worked backline shift to go in untouched, taking the visitors to a 26-24 front.
Mantellato was unable to convert the try, hard pressed against the touchline, but it mattered little – the Roos defending their line and defusing a last-ditch Jets raid to record their third win of the Intrust Super Premiership NSW season.
And a much-needed one, at that.
WYONG 26 (D Matterson J Mantellato P Faamausili P Momirovski B Smith tries Mantellato 3 goals) bt NEWTOWN 24 (B Aufaga-Toomaga W Kennedy A Demetriou S Katoa tries K Flanagan 2 A Demetriou 2 goals)