WYONG Roos bounced back to the top of the Central Coast Rugby League ladder with a 32-12 win over The Entrance at Kanwal on Sunday.
Wyong led 12-6 at halftime, but The Entrance crossed early in the second stanza to level the scores.
Two tries to right centre Luke Dolbel were crucial for Wyong in the second half, and a late solo try to halfback Terence Seuseu opened up an unlikely gap on the scoreboard.
Wyong football manager Stephen Marks said the teams turned on a display worthy of a showdown between the defending premiers (The Entrance) and the leading contenders.
"There is little between these teams. Wyong only gained the upper hand in the last 15 minutes," Marks said.
The Tigers opened the scoring in just the third minute of play, attacking the short side on the last tackle.
Left winger Perry Lebrocque kicked infield as he was hemmed close to the sideline. Adam McInnes regathered and quickly offloaded for Mitch Jacobs to cross.
"The Roos' response came in the 13th minute when a late offload from Terence Seuseu in traffic and a long cut-out pass from Luke Sharpe created sufficient time and space for left winger Jake Scicluna to score in the north-west corner," Marks said.
The visitors lost possession on their 20-metre line in the 27th minute.
"Wyong probed both sides of the ruck then sent the ball left for centre Zane Rickit to muscle his way over," Marks said.
The home team led 12-6 at the break.
The Tigers levelled the scores in the 43rd minute when Sione Tonga put Jacobs in for his second try.
Wyong's Josh Mantellato kicked a penalty goal in the 60th minute to give the Roos a 14-12 lead.
"Centre Luke Dolbel touched down in the 64th minute after Seuseu and back-rower Tarnae Mahon combined on his inside," Marks said.
"Dolbel then scored the try of the match in the 71st minute to break the opposition's back. Seuseu collected an offload and once again found Mahon in support. Mahon worked the hole then kicked into space.
"Dolbel simply had to be first to the ball and easily won that race.
"Seuseu capped a fine game with a solo try in the dying stages."
The win moved Wyong to 23 competition points, one ahead of The Entrance, after 13 rounds.
Wyong will travel to tackle Terrigal in Round 14 at Duffys Road this Sunday.
Ladder: Wyong 23, The Entrance 22, Erina 18, Woy Woy 17, Kincumber 16, Terrigal 14, Berkeley Vale 12, Ourimbah 4, Northern Lakes 4.