Magpies go down in tight contest to Warriors

Western Suburbs Magpies have gone down in the final game of their Canterbury Cup season, with the New Zealand Warriors coming from behind to defeat the visitors 24-20.

Despite missing a number of key players and the home side gunning for a finals berth, it was the Magpies who took the lead mid-way through the second half before a late try to Leivaha Pulu ensured the Warriors would walk away victorious.

With a four-point win to their name, New Zealand now require Wentworthville to lose by 34 points to the top-of-the-table Rabbitohs to qualify for the finals.

Promoted to Canterbury Cup following a strong season with the club's Jersey Flegg side, Liam Scolari opened the scoring after just three minutes to give the Magpies an early 6-0 lead before Bunty Afoa hit back for the hosts to level the match.

Blake Ayshford and Setu Tu both crossed within the space of five minutes to extend the home side's lead, before a Watson Heleta try just before the break ensured the Magpies would remain in the contest as the two teams went to half-time.

Heleta's second soon after the break levelled the match at 18-18, before a penalty goal to Kauri Aupouri saw the Magpies re-take the lead with 20 minutes to go.

Determined to end the season with a win, the Magpies fell behind once again when Pulu crashed over late to put the home side in front, with Brett Hodgson's men unable to come up with a late play to get the two points in the end.

After a strong start to the season, it was a disappointing end to the season for Western Suburbs who finished the year with just one win since Round 14 — ending the regular season in tenth position and outside the finals positions.

New Zealand Warriors 24 (Afoa, Ayshford, Tu, Pulu tries; Keighran 4/4 goals) def. Western Suburbs Magpies 20 (Heleta 2, Scolari tries; Aupouri 4/4 goals)