Author: Steve Reeves
Wests Magpies were eager to keep their momentum going in this round 8 match against neighbouring Club, Cabramatta Two Blues. In recent seasons there has hardly been a struck match between them; games have been a real arm wrestle. There was a good vibe in the dressing room prior to kick off with the black and white outfit pushing for the trifecta, three wins in a row.
Cabramatta got the match under way with a deep kick which came down in Wests Magpies in goal area. After carrying the ball into the field of play, Cabramatta was penalised for a high tackle. Wests Magpies players carried the ball down field before Kieran Wyld put up a towering bomb which was taken cleanly by Cabramatta’s fullback Lalotoa Mataafa. The visitors steadily moved down field before putting in a grubber kick. Unfortunately the ball bounced off a Wests Magpies player straight into the hands of one of his team mates who was ruled to be in an offside position. After taking the tap kick, Cabramatta put on a well disguised move which saw the ball collected by prop forward Jordan Latham who reached out to score a fine try alongside the left upright. Mata’afa’s conversion put Cabramatta Two Blues up 6 points to 0 after five minutes play.
From the restart, Cabramatta knocked the ball on. It was picked up by Wests Magpies second row forward Joshua Davis who ran some 15 metres before being tackled on the opposition 20 metre line. A quick play the ball caught a few Cabramatta players offside. After taking the tap, Ahmed Ellaz and Harrison Leonard carried the ball forward before Kieran Wyld slipped a great pass to hard running prop forward Edward TJ Carter who scored a well-structured try alongside the posts. Half Kelsey Coakes claimed the easy conversion, locking up the scores at 6 points all.
After receiving the ball from the kick, Wests Magpies hooker and Captain Josh Daley darted from the middle of the ruck before being tackled on half way. On the last tackle, Wests Magpies kicked the ball out on the full, giving Cabramatta the scrum feed. After winning the scrum, a strong tackle from a Wests Magpies player forced a knock on giving the home team the feed. Their forwards worked their way down the centre of the field and on the last tackle, fullback Omar Slaimankhel delivered a well-placed bomb which was knocked on by the opposition. Centre three quarter Jack Gibbons, who had followed the kick through picked up the loose ball before being tackled short of the line. The next phase saw the ball move to Daley, then Coakes with Slaimankhel delivering the final pass to Joshua Davis who scored in the western corner. Coakes made no mistake from the wide angle putting Wests Magpies up 12 points to 6.
Within minutes, aided by a penalty Wests Magpies were perched deep in Cabramatta’s territory. Fullback Omar Slaimankhel called for the ball and as Cabramatta’s players moved quickly towards him he chipped over the defensive line to the eastern corner. The move was read by wing three quarter Isaac Rabuatoka who took the ball on the full before diving over for a crowd pleasing try. Coakes guided the ball over the black dot from another difficult angle. Wests Magpies 18 Cabramatta Two Blues 6.
The bounce of the ball was certainly favouring the home team, but to their credit Cabramatta hit back with two quick tries. The first came after the home team were marched downfield after Cabramatta received two quick penalties. Their forwards took the ball to Wests Magpies ten metre line and from the next play Cabramatta’s hooker Josh Tangitau dived over beside the left upright. Mata’afa made no mistake with the conversion. Wests Magpies 18 Cabramatta Two Blues 12.
Cabramatta went straight on the attack after receiving the ball from the kick off. Their effort was helped when Wests Magpies were penalised for interfering with a player in the ruck. Again the opposition forwards took their attack to the home team’s try line. This allowed acting dummy half Sam Gorman to collect the ball close to the line and dive over to score his team’s third try. Five eight Ben Marshke was presented with an easy conversion locking the teams up 18 points all. There were no more points scored in the first half, but that could have changed if not for a great ball and all tackle by Wests Magpies second row forward Joshua Davis who snuffed out a possible try by the opposing team as the hooter sounded.
Wests Magpies were called on to start play in the second half and a knock on from the kick off presented Wests Magpies with good field position. They carried the ball to Cabramatta’s ten metre line before receiving a penalty for a high tackle. With an easy two points on offer, Coakes was called over. He did not disappoint. Wests Magpies 20 Cabramatta Two Blues 18.
The ensuing fifteen minutes was a bit scrappy with both sides making errors with the penalty count increasing. After receiving a penalty for an incident in the play the ball area, Wests Magpies probed both sides of the field before a well weighted kick was played dead by a Cabramatta player. Following the line drop out, Wests Magpies forwards moved quickly to the opposition 30 metre line at which time fullback Omar Slaimankhel called for the ball before darting to the short side. He threw a long cut out pass which was gladly received by wing three quarter Isaac Rabuatoka who outpaced the cover defence to score in the western corner. Coakes shot at goal hit the upright and bounced away. Wests Magpies 24 Cabramatta Two Blues 18.
Wests Magpies completed their next set with a mandatory kick downfield. After being given possession, the opposition team was penalised for an incorrect play the ball. Taking the tap, Wests Magpies pressured Cabramatta’s line before hooker and Captain Josh Daley surged from dummy half to score a well-deserved try. Coakes got back on track by adding the extra two points. Wests Magpies 30 Cabramatta Two Blues 18. Not done yet, Cabramatta were given the scrum feed on half way after a forward pass was thrown by a Wests Magpies player. After winning the ball, Cabramatta’s half Zac Nicholls broke through an attempted tackle on his way to Wests Magpies try line. Interchange player, Ayden Carling took over the kicking duties and guided the ball between the uprights. Wests Magpies 30 Cabramatta Two Blues 24.
The opposition team continued to test Wests Magpies defence but the home team held firm and repelled a series of strong attacking raids. After being awarded a few more penalties, Cabramatta had ball in hand, but a wayward pass saw possession go to Wests Magpies. With six minutes left on the clock, Wests Magpies moved closer to the posts at which time fullback Omar Slaimankhel steadied before slotting a fine field goal. Wests Magpies 31 Cabramatta Two Blues 24.
From the kick off, Cabramatta were penalised for a high tackle. After strong runs were recorded by Wests Magpies forwards Edward TJ Carter, Avia Minute and Josh Daley, the ball went across the backline to centre three quarter Jack Gibbons who carried a number of opposition players over the try line with him to score a match winning try. Coakes put the icing on the cake. Wests Magpies 37 Cabramatta Two Blues 24.
In the final minute of the game Wests Magpies received the ball from the kick off. It was taken by second row forward Joshua Davis who broke through three attempted tackles. After crossing the half way line, and with opposition players around him, he threw the ball to centre three quarter Jack Gibbons who was backing up on his inside. The ball fell to Gibbons feet and despite being a big man he bent down and gathered in the ball before sprinting towards the line. With the fullback to beat and an unmarked man on his inside he threw the perfect dummy pass before straightening to claim his second try of the afternoon. Coakes kicked his seventh goal which would see out the remainder of the game. Wests Magpies 43 Cabramatta Two Blues 24.
Penalties: Cabramatta 12 Wests Magpies 11.
Scorers for Wests Magpies: Tries to Edward TJ Carter, Joshua Davis and Josh Daley with Jack Gibbons and Isaac Rabuatoka scoring doubles. Kelsey Coakes continued his fine kicking form claiming 7 goals from 8 attempts. Omar Slaimankhel grabbed a field goal.
Best for the Magpies: Josh Daley, Joshua Davis, Edward TJ Carter, Kelsey Coakes and Omar Slaimankhel.
Scorers for Cabramatta: Tries Jordan Latham, Josh Tangitau, Sam Gorman and Zac Nicholls. Lalotoa Mataafa kicked 2 conversions with Ben Marshke and Ayden Carling grabbing one each.
Best for Cabramatta: Ben Marshke, Jack Morris, Malakai Houma, Junior Mapesone and Austin Dias.
Author: Rebecca Westlake
Last Sunday afternoon Western Suburbs Magpies went down to the North Sydney Bears in the first game of the Jason Taylor Cup. The Magpies suffered a 18-6 loss in their Round 8 clash at North Sydney Oval.
Back to back penalties created an early opportunity for North Sydney to take the lead and did so through John Tuivaiti who dived over just left of the posts. Brock Lamb added the extras to put his team in front by 6 points after just as many minutes.
A sudden storm took a toll on the Wests attack with 3 dropped balls off the back of what should have been opportunities at the line after being awarded favourable penalties within the Bears half.
Kane McQuiggin forced the ball free during a strong set from the Bears, providing momentum and another opportunity to score. Wests shifted right to find Tommy Talau but the pass was ruled forward.
The wet weather continued to cause havoc half way through the first stanza seeing Wests with a 4/11 completion rate and struggling to complete their sets with 7 errors so far.
A penalty awarded to the Magpies for foul play in the ruck saw Paul Momirovski take a quick tap and sent his team towards the line. The Magpies continued to muscle up with Oliver Clark and Tyson Gamble making the metres for their team.
The Bears widened the margin in the 27th minute, finding an overlap on the left, giving the hosts plenty of space to bust through the Wests defence. A swift kick from Lamb was won by Bernard Lewis who scored North’s second try of the afternoon.
It seemed that the game couldn’t get any worse from the Magpies, until NRL experienced forward Russell Packer, who was a late edition to today’s game, was sent from the field for 10 minutes due to an incident down field during Lamb’s conversion.
Norths took advantage of a deflated and frustrated Wests defence and make a play at the line. Bradley Deitz tricked his markers and faked left, only to switch right and find a sprinting Egan Butcher who dived over.
Wests were unlucky not to have scored through Caption Kauri Aupouri-Puketapu and Winger Tommy Talau in the final minutes of the first half with both players being waved away by officials.
After being pinned down their end in the first couple of sets of the second half, Wests were gifted a penalty for a high tackle on Dylan Smith. With six more tackles under their belt, the Magpies campaigned for better field position, marching towards the line. A promising offload from Packer found the hands of Gamble but couldn’t make anything of it.
A repeat set would see the Magpies with their first try of the afternoon with Soni Luke stepping out from dummy half to slip through the Bears line and score. Momirovski added the extras bringing the score to 16-6 with 25 minutes remaining.
A shift in momentum and now with points on the board, the Wests defence muscled up and held the Bears scoreless in the second half. Pressure took it’s toll on the Bears attack with a dropped ball giving Magpies much needed possession in their opponents half, but still unable to find points.
Frustrations got the best of Soni Luke, who found himself on the sideline for the remaining 3 minutes of the game after giving away a penalty which would see the Bears kick for goal and bring the final score to 18-6.
North Sydney Bears 18 (John Tuivaiti, Bernard Lewis, Egan Butcher tries; Brock Lamb 2/3 goals, Brock Lamb 1/1 penalty goals) def. Western Suburbs Magpies 6 (Soni Luke try; Paul Momirovski goal)