The scoreboard at the end of the day did not reflect the closeness of the game which remained in the balance until late into the second half. There were a number of positional changes due to late withdrawals, but the boys in black and white certainly put their hands up in what was an exciting spectacle.
The initial exchanges were an even affair but in the 6th minute, half and captain Brendan Waters put in a grubber kick which rolled into Mounties in goal. A well-positioned Kurt Aldridge reaped the rewards when he outpaced the defence to score a fine try. His conversion saw the Magpies take an early 6 points to nil lead.
Mounties looked to hit back straight away, but the Magpies defense held firm as they held up centre three quarter Rusty Bristow who looked certain to score. From the 10 metre restart Mounties halfback threw the ball forward to an attacking player resulting in a scrum being formed on Wests Magpies ten metre line. After winning the scrum, an awkward pass hit the dirt which gave Mounties good field position. After winning the scrum, they attacked the eastern side of the field which caught the Magpies short on numbers. With a two man overlap, the ball was passed to Shannon Chapman who scored his team’s first try. Maurice Kennedy kicked the conversion from the side line. Wests Magpies 6 Mounties 6.
The match remained in the balance with strong defense from both teams. It wasn’t until the 33rd minute that further points would be added. After a Magpie player was tackled on the last a metre short of the try line, Mounties were called upon to play the ball. They quickly spread the ball across the backline; putting wing three quarter Omar Slaimanki into the clear. He raced down the western side of the field to score a fine individual try adjacent to the goal posts. Maurice Kennedy claimed the easy conversion to put his team ahead 12 points to 6.
In the last minute of the first half, Mounties put in a clever kick which was covered up in goal by fullback Kieran Wyld. Wests went for the short line drop out, but it was knocked on by a Wests player, giving Mounties a scrum feed in good field position. They again attacked the eastern side of the field and this time Rusty Bristow would not be denied as he carried defenders over the line with him. The conversion attempt hit the upright and as the players left the field, the score board read Mounties 16 Wests Magpies 6.
The second half barely got under way when Magpie fullback Keiran Wyld broke through the first line of defense. He picked out centre three quarter Inno Inosesio who charged downfield. After advancing deep into Mounties territory, he passed the ball to wing three quarter Pulonga Kavaefiafi who turned the defense inside and out.
on his way to the try line. Kurt Aldridge made no mistake as he added the extra two points. Mounties 16 Wests Magpies 12.
Five minutes later replacement forward Zane Elsley tackled a Mounties player head on before stripping the ball from his grasp. Showing a good turn of speed, he ran some 40 metres before putting the ball under the black dot. Kurt Aldridge’s conversion put the Magpies up 18 points to 16
A couple of injuries in the second half, saw further positional changes to the visiting team, but despite this they remained well and truly in the game until the final 15 minutes or so.
In the 25th minute, Mounties last tackle kick was charged down by a Wests player who was unable to regather the ball. Ruling 6 again, Mounties received the ball in good field position. They moved the ball from one side of the field to the other before second row forward Sunny Bristow dived over the try line, joining his brother Rusty on the try scoring list. With the unsuccessful conversion attempt, Mounties took the lead 20 points to 18.
Late in the game, Mounties put on a three further tries. The first was scored by Jarrett Boland, quickly followed by Joel Luani and Jordan Martin, two of which were converted by Maurice Kennedy. As mentioned at the start of my report, the Magpies were well into the game for a majority of the time. Penalties towards the end of the day gave the home team extra possession which they used to good effect. There is no doubt that the team is improving thanks to the ongoing efforts of our coaching staff. Final score Mounties 36 defeat Wests Magpies 18.
Wests Magpies. Tries to Kurt Aldridge, Pulonga Kavaefiafi & Zane Elsley. Kurt Aldridge kicked 3 from 3.
Best for the Magpies. Inno Inosesio, Brendan Waters, Avia Minute, David Minute, Luke Williams, Tom Morrison, Pulonga Kavaefiafi & Keiran Wyld.
Mounties. Tries to Shannon Chapman, Omar Slaimanki, Rusty Bristow, Sonny Bristow, Jarrett Boland, Joel Luani & John Martin. Maurice Kennedy kicked 4 conversions from 7 attempts.
Best for Mounties. Sonny Bristow, Maurice Kennedy, Willie Mataka, Rusty Bristow & Mitchell Kennedy.