East Campbelltown Eagles head into next Sunday’s grand final replay against Guildford Owls with their confidence restored.
The Eagles defeated Wentworthville Magpies 38 to 26 yesterday to get their title defence back on track following a stumble a week earlier against Ryde Eastwood.
While they were not at their best, the boys from Campbelltown did enough to get some confidence back ahead of the big clash against the Owls on July 28 at McCreedie Park, Guildford from 1pm.
The Eagles piled on points in the first half with tries to Sean Connor, Alex Potifara, Hala Akauola Laula and Shannon Gallant.
Connor converted three from four and a penalty goal as the Eagles roared back to form.
Wentworthville were awarded a dubious try on half-time, when it looked like Shannon Gallant had held him up over the line.
Coach Richard Barnes wasn’t happy with his team dropping the ball five times in the first 20 minutes but was content that his charges went into the sheds leading 24-4.
He might have become a little concerned when Wentworthville scored two tries in 10 minutes after the resumption to narrow the gap to 24-16.
Eagles responded the way they do when things suddenly look bad for them: they ran riot scoring three tries.
Eddie Vatuvei and Craig Moustakas bagged one each, while Gallant ran in his second for the day.
The game was as good as over at 38-14 and the Eagles relaxed a little, allowing Wentworthville to score two more tries of their own for a final scoreline of 38-26.
Best for the Eagles were Shannon Gallant, Kobe Chamberlain, John Da Silva, Brett Lahey, Tom Morrison and Sam Ioane, who was named Players Player.
Sean Connor was named Man of the Match for the Eagles.
“I was a little disappointed with our handling errors early,’’ coach Richard Barnes said after the match.
“But we walked into the sheds with a great lead.
“We started poorly in the second half but hung tough to keep in front.
“I was very happy with our effort and attitude this week.”
In other results, the East Campbelltown reserve grade stayed on top of the table with an impressive 44-6 win against Campbelltown Warriors while the U23 went down to St Johns 32-16.