Written by: Rebecca Westlake
Western Suburbs Magpies kept their top four hopes alive thanks to Tyson Gamble’s golden boot in another last minute field goal win two weeks in a row.
Travelling to the central coast for the first time in the Intrust Super Premiership, the Western Suburbs Magpies faced off with the Wyong Roos at Morry Breen Oval but felt somewhat at home with the infamous chants of ‘80 minutes’ which in turn made the rest of the Magpies fans fire up with “WESTS” cheers and “CATTLEDOG” cries from the stands.
Wyong gave Wests a tough Central Coast welcome with a try in the first 3 minutes with Sitili Tupouniua busting through the Magpies defence getting the homeside on the board. Lachlan Lam was successful in his conversion despite the unforgiving wind, taking the lead to 6-0.
A 40/20 attempt from Wyong was calmly collected by Malakai Watene-Zelezniak who put Sam McIntyre through a gap to advance his team up field. This would set his team up for their next try when Alex Seyfarth was tackle upright in the in-goal area but was able to free the ball for an offload to hooker Pita Godinet who placed the ball on the turf.
The Magpies were in for their second try just moments later with a crazy last tackle option ending with winger Watene-Zelezniak rewarded for his try assist with his very own four-pointer, Tui Lolohea brought the score to 12-6 after 20 minutes.
Disciplinary mistakes from the Magpies would be the cause of the Roo’s next three tries, seeing Brock Gray, Luke Sharpe and Paul Momirovski all score after a repeat set. This began to put pressure on Wests, but despite the three quick tries, the Magpies only trailed by eight going into the break due to missed conversions no thanks to an unforgiving wind.
Returning from the break it was Wests who opened up the scoring for the second half with Watene-Zelezniak scooping up a stray ball and getting his second of the afternoon after a firey opening 8 minutes.
It was the MWZ show this afternoon with the winger claiming a hat-trick, leaping over the chalk just 13 minutes into the second half. Lolohea nicely converted the try he assisted to bring the call 20-all.
The rain started to come down as tempers exploded when Josh Aloiai was sent from the field for an apparent high tackle, sending Wyong on the attack with a 12-man advantage .
A beautiful 40/20 kick from halfback Mitch Cornish, put Wyong in a perfect attacking position to break the deadlock and did so through Lachlan Lam putting his team in front by four.
Again the score was tied at 24-all after a Lolohea kick put Braedan Robson over the line. The wind proving too much for Tui resulting in a missed conversion once again.
With just over 5 minutes remaining, our Magpies was hungry to break the stall mate and hope to do so through a 40/20 attempt from Gamble but kicked out on the full. The Roos saw a chance for a field goal, but Cornish’s attempt was too far left.
Gamble soon redeemed himself with a low but successful field goal, claiming the win for his team.
Western Suburbs 25 (Pita Godinet, Malakai Watene-Zelezniak 3, Braden Robson tries; Tui Lolohea 2/5 goals; Tyson Gamble field goal) def. Wyong 24 (Sitili Tupouniua, Brock Gray, Luke Sharpe, Paul Momirovski, Lachlan Lam tries; Mitch Cornish 1/2, Paul Momirovski 1/3 goals)
Written by: Steve Reeves
Wests Magpies preparation for this game was disrupted with the withdrawal of inspirational utility Tom Morrison who suffered an injury in the previous round against Cabramatta. Leading into my game summary & before getting to the nitty gritty I am pleased to report that Wests Magpies played a good game of football here today. They were up against a top 4 team who were desperate to maintain their position at the top end of the ladder.
The game was only 10 minutes old when in quick succession 2 starting players, prop forward James Mirceski & second row forward Inno Inosesio were forced from the field with injuries. Neither took any further part in the game leaving Coach Nathan Waters with 2 fresh reserves.
Wests Magpies started the game with a deep kick off but after a couple of settling runs, Guildford five eight Nathan Masima put in a towering kick which was carried by the strong westerly wind over Wests Magpies 20 metre line. Given the scrum feed, Guildford probed both sides of the field before strong defence from wing three quarter Brandan Suá forced the attacking player into touch right on the Magpies try line.
The game then slowed after a series of penalties were awarded against both teams with neither side being able to show their wares. However that changed when a Wests Magpies player, attempting to get to his feet quickly knocked the ball on. This time Guildford would make the most of this opportunity to attack inside Wests Magpies 30 metre line. After winning the scrum the ball went across the backline into the hands of fullback Dominic Reardon who as trailing his centre pairing. He collected the ball and pace & raced across the try line untouched. Josh Camroux failed to convert in very windy conditions. Guildford 4 Wests Magpies 0.
The Magpies dominated proceedings & when half & captain Brendan Waters called for the ball the crowd sensed something exciting was going to happen. He feigned to run to the open then darted to the short side before putting in a chip kick which was taken by wing three quarter Jack Gibbons. After advancing down the touchline & in traffic Gibbons picked out centre three quarter Josh Davis who outpaced the cover defence to score in the western corner. Kelsey Coakes attempt at goal fell short. Guildford 4 Wests Magpies 4.
Wests Magpies momentum continued to build. They were strong in defence and imaginative in attack. After the referee called 6 again for the Magpies, they delivered the ball to replacement prop forward Kilifi Tiakilifi who drew opposition players to him. It looked like Guildford had halted the big man’s progress before he slipped an inside ball to centre three quarter Junior Mapesone who was tackled perilously close to Guildford’s try line. The ensuing play the ball caught Guildford backpedalling before it was collected by a charging Avia Minute who dived over alongside the posts. Coakes claimed the extra 2 points which took the lead. Magpies 10 points to Guildford 4.
With time running out in the first half Guildford put up a high kick in the blistering conditions hoping to catch fullback Kieran Wyld out. Wyld took the ball on his own try line before evading several attempted tackles in an elusive run to Guildford’s 30 metre line. In the final stanza of the half, Guildford threw everything at the Magpies who defended their line stoutly. Both teams then left the field for the break.
The first 10 minutes of the second half produced scrappy play from both teams, but Wests started to gain the ascendancy & forced Guildford to carry the ball over their dead ball line. The line drop was carried long in the windy conditions but after collecting the ball Wests ran back to Guildford’s 20 metre line. After hitting the ground, the ball came loose & was picked up by Nathan Masima who showed a clean pair of heels to score under the black dot. The try was scored completely against the run of play but that did not matter as Josh Camroux put his team back on an even keel. Wests Magpies 10 Guildford 10.
After receiving the ball from the resumption in play, Guildford steadied & carried the ball to the half way mark before half Aaron Grech put in a stabbing kick which rolled along the ground. The ball was pounced on by hooker Luke Williams who had chased the kick through. When it was Wests turn to do something with the ball on the last, fullback Kieran Wyld put in a clever kick over the defensive line. He chased hard & appeared to be pulled back by a defending player, but he still showed good strength when he got his foot to the ball a second time. The ball rolled into Guildford’s in goal area & despite the attention of several players, wing three quarter Jack Gibbons was able to claim the try. Wests Magpies 14 Guildford 10.
Lady luck abandoned the boys in black & white when Nathan Masima put in another chip kick. It rebounded off several players before it somehow landed in the hands of Josh Camroux who scored under the posts. He converted his own try to put Guildford in the lead 16 Wests Magpies 14.
Wests gave everything as they tried to claw back the lead. This time second row forward David Minute pulled off a one on one strip before he took off down field. He showed good pace before he was tackled a few metres short of the try line. Wing three quarter Jack Gibbons went into dummy half & ran the ball over Guildford’s try line. They stripped the ball from his grasp & carried it dead.
In the final minutes Wests put an end to Guildford’s set of 6 & were handed the ball. An unforced error on their 10 metre line gave Guildford the scrum feed. They took the ball to the centre of the field before hooker Jack Wheelhouse ran from dummy half to score the match winning try under the dot. Josh Camroux increased Guildford’s lead to 22 points to Wests Magpies 14.
With time just about up, prop forward Mitch Achurch capped off a strong game by crossing for his teams last points of the afternoon as the conversion attempt by Josh Camroux was waved away. Guildford Owls 26 Wests Magpies 14.
Although the boys didn’t come away with the win they were valiant in defeat. It is a credit to the coaching staff & players that they were able to turn things around after last week’s trip to New Era Stadium, Cabramatta. There was not a player on the field who didn’t contribute but in the end a few errors at critical times allowed Guildford back into the game & eventually record the win. Kieran Wyld was tested under the high bomb several times but never backed away from the challenge, taking the ball cleanly.
Wests Magpies. Tries to Josh Davis, Avia Minute & Jack Gibbons with Kelsey Coakes kicking 1 from 3 attempts.
Best for the Magpies. Josh Davis, Va’Enuku Vatuvei, Kilifi Tiakilifi, David & Avia Minute, Brendan Waters, Luke Williams, Kieran Wyld, Junior Mapesone & David Harris.
Guildford. Tries to Dominic Reardon, Nathan Masima, Jack Wheelhouse, Mitch Achurch with Josh Camroux scoring 1 try & kicking 3 from 5 attempts.
Best for the Owls. Mitch Achurch, Harmony Hunt, Nathan Masima, Josh Camroux, Matt Rickard & Dominic Reardon.