Unforced errors and scrappy play proved the theme of Sunday's match at Raiders Belconnen.
The two points seemed locked in for West Belconnen Warriors at the first whistle, but consistent errors kept the Yass Magpies in the encounter to claw back a 14-point deficit to within two points.
The Warriors opened the scoring in the first five minutes and struck again five minutes later. Before Yass responded in the 21st minute. The one sided play continued, with the home side leading 18-4 at the halftime whistle.
The visitors came out stronger in the second half, scraping the first points of the second half to reduce the gap to 18-10 before crossing for another try in the 60th to come within two points of the Warriors lead.
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Warriors coach Matt Gafa said his side played well in the first 10 minutes of the match, but did not make it easy for themselves for the remaining 70 minutes.
"We made a lot of errors, and we made it very hard for ourselves," he said.
"Our defence on our scoreline is what got us the two points today I think. We were pretty poor and scrappy otherwise.
"We were executing our game plan well in the first 10, but we went away from our game plan from there ... and made it a lot tougher for ourselves after that."
Although the Magpies managed to keep the Warriors scoreless in the second 40, it was not enough to close the 14-point deficit completely.
Magpies coach Cameron Hardy said after a blasting at halftime, his side put in a decent effort to stake a comeback and they had plenty of opportunities to do so.
"Unforced errors cost us again," he said.
"The effort was really good and we had plenty of opportunities to win but we would throw a forward pass on the first run of the set or knock it on. We played well for 30 of the 40 minutes in the second but we can't put a complete half together, we're a young team so we need some experience to help us close out the halves."
United have won four of their last five matches and will look to make it five wins from the last six when they face the Woden Valley Rams next week.
The Magpies on the other hand have not won a match since round six, and will have the odds stacked against them when they face ladder leader's, the Gungahlin Bulls, next Saturday.
AT A GLANCE:
West Belconnen Warriors 18 (Tries: K Rushton 2, B Withers; Goals: B Graham 3) def Yass Magpies 16 (Tries: B Timmer, B Maher, C Esera; Goals: S Davis 2)