Western Suburbs Magpies have gone down 18-14 in Extra Time to the Wyong Roos in their Intrust Super Premiership Elimination Final today at Panthers Stadium.
A late try to Wests Tigers 2019 recruit Paul Momirovski would give Sean O'Sullivan a chance to level the match, with the halfback slotting the conversion from out wide to level the match at 12-12.
Both sides would exchange field goal attempts in the final minutes to no avail, with the match heading in to an extra time period that would see five minutes each way for the two sides to try and record a win.
In the end, it was a penalty goal from Lolohea that gave Western Suburbs the lead before a late try to Matt Ikuvalu would see Wyong through to a sudden death Semi Final next week against the Bulldogs.
With Wyong making the early running in the game, it was the defence of Western Suburbs that stood out early on with Tyson Gamble and Dylan Smith both producing stunning individual try-savers on their line.
Desperate to keep up their defensive pressure, Luke Garner and Patrice Siolo were both placed on report in the 33rd minute for a dangerous lifting tackle that looked more innocuous than anything.
As they worked themselves back in to the contest with possession starting to even out, Hodgson's side eventually broke the deadlock three minutes from the break with Smith and Lucas Price producing quick hands down the right edge to send Lemuelu over for the only four-pointer of the opening half.
Tuimoala Lolohea narrowly missed his conversion from out wide, leaving the score at 4-0.
Having taken 37 minutes to score in the first half, it would take the Magpies just three minutes to score in the second with Lolohea breaking the line open and sending the visitors on the attack. The replacement half then fizzed a cut-out down the short side to send Harry O'Toole over untouched in the corner, and the Magpies to a 10-0 lead as their confidence continued to grow off the back of their defence.
Captain Garner could have blown the scoreline open when he looked to plant down a grubber from Lolohea — only for the ball to come loose at the last minute to give Wyong a much-needed reprieve.
That would allow the Roos to work the ball down field and get back in the contest, and off the back of three repeat sets, they would eventually cross with Luke Sharpe going over in the 64th minute.
Sean O'Sullivan converted from the sideline to cut the Magpies lead to 10-6 with 15 minutes remaining.
Sharpe had the chance to make it two tries in the space of five minutes when he backed up on the inside, but the ball just missed his hands and allowed Western Suburbs the ability to hold on to their slender lead.
Wyong would lose winger Billy Smith with a nasty looking leg injury seven minutes from full-time, with his exit forcing the eighth-placed Roos in to a backline reshuffle with players out of position.
Trying to create something in the final minutes, O'Sullivan's attempt a short dropout would back fire — resulting in a straightforward penalty goal to Lolohea in front of the posts with five minutes to go.
Wyong weren't done, however, with the short kickoff regathered by the Roos to give them a shot at levelling the match. Paul Momirovski would dive over out wide with O'Sullivan redeeming his earlier error from the dropout with a sideline conversion that sent the match in to Extra Time at Panthers Stadium.
Wyong Roos 18 (Sharpe, Momirovski, Ikuvalu tries; O'Sullivan 3/3 goals def. Western Suburbs Magpies 12 (Lemuelu, O'Toole tries; Lolohea 2/3 goals) at Panthers Stadium