Sunday, May 30, 2010

Thanks for the emails...

I think we got our point across to The Sunday Roast loud and clear even if they again side-stepped their original thoughts that it was a Wentworthville jersey. But either way it was good exposure for the Magpies and hopefully will prevent commentators from being so disrespectful in the future.

Wests forever!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Level 1 Coaching Courses

Congratulations to all participants on taking part in the Level 1 coaching course which was held at the Western Suburbs Magpies Office on 17th, 19th, 24th, 26th May 2010
The course was run by Wests Development officer Harvey Howard over 4 nights to accredit junior rugby league coaches in the local competitions, throughout the course a number of practical and theory exercises were practiced to ensure junior coaches have up to date knowledge with the game for our young stars of the future. Two special guests attended the course with former NRL referee Barry Ruttle explaining the rules and changes in the game of rugby league and Wests Magpies NSW State Cup Conditioner Mick Sterli helping with coaching drills and key areas of hydration for our young players.

Big thank you goes out to Harvey Howard, our coaches and staff who helped put this course together and a massive thank you to Barry Ruttle and Mick Sterli for giving their knowledge and experience to our junior coaches.
By Michael White

Yes he's back!

Skando's back! John Skandalis made his return to the Western Suburbs Magpies in the Round 12 clash against the Melbourne Storm at Olympic Park.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Rnd 12 Preview - Magpies v Storm

Melbourne Storm Vs Western Suburbs Magpies
Olympic Park, Saturday, May 29
Kick-off: 3.00pm
Referee: Jon Stone

Melbourne’s four game winning streak came to an end last weekend as they were clinically beaten by a methodical Jets outfit at Henson Park. The Western Suburbs Magpies consolidated their place at the pointy end of the ladder with a comfortable victory over Wentworthville at the newly redeveloped Campbelltown Stadium. The Magpies will head to Melbourne with the knowledge they are yet to lose a match in 2010 to any side other than Balmain. The Tigers have got the better of the Magpies on two occasions by a combined margin of 10 points while they were also held to an 18 all draw by Newtown despite scoring four tries to Newtown’s three on the day. With that said, they are yet to face off against the Storm this season, and Melbourne will be desperate to try and reclaim some of that momentum they had before last week’s loss to the Jets and stay in touch with the top six. A tantalising match up in the halves awaits as the young guns in Luke Kelly and Gareth Widdop go head to head with two of the more experienced halves in the competition in Ben Falcone and Nathan Waters. Luke Macdougall, Ryan Tandy and Rory Kostjasyn have all been called up to the NRL while Josh Davis has been named as 18th man for the Wests Tigers on Friday night but should still travel with the Magpies if he isn’t required by Tim Sheens. Melbourne may have just peaked over the previous few weeks or so and a full strength Magpies should be able to come away from Olympic Park with the two points and keep up the pressure on the leading Tigers.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Morris the Magpie

Western Suburbs fans were delighted with more than just a great win on Saturday. The best mascot in Rugby League returned to Campbelltown Stadium. Mark's cousin Morris the Magpie led the Black and Whites out to the strains of "We are the Boys from Western Suburbs" and on to a great victory against Wentworthville. Everyone at Wests is delighted to have our Magpie back in the nest and delighting crowds whenever Western Suburbs take the field.

Tell the Sunday Roast we won't be Forgotten

Andrew Voss and the Sunday Roast panel need re-education that there are two teams in the Wests Tigers joint venture.

The Wests Tigers came under criticism by Channel 9's so called "footy experts" about wearing the Black and White striped jersey against Newcastle Knights last Friday night.

They had no idea why the side was wearing the jersey and it was referred to as either a Maitland Jail uniform or maybe a strip paying homage to Wentworthville!

Ray Warren on the Friday night coverage was also clueless and said they jerseys should have ORANGE players numbers. He then went on to say on Sydney radio on Saturday that it has been 10 years since the merger, that they should stop wearing these jerseys and that fans should move on.

The jersey the Wests Tigers wore was a homage back to the original jerseys Western Suburbs wore in their foundation years. The Balmain heritage jersey was worn the week before on the official heritage round, so it was only logical that this was a Wests heritage jersey. Unlike most other clubs, we have 2 proud histories worth honouring.

Once again the media is clueless about the fact that the Wests Tigers joint venture is between TWO clubs with a combined 202 years of heritage.

I encourage all Wests supporters send the Sunday Roast an email reminding them that the Western Suburbs Magpies wont be forgotten.

We are the Wests in the Wests Tigers!

Emails should be sent to:

2010 Wests Tigers Jersey Worn on Friday Night

Western Suburbs 1908 Jersey

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Fitzy proves Critics Wrong

Rugby league fans on forums can be harsher than judges on reality TV, but Wests Tigers veteran Daniel Fitzhenry is targeted more than almost any other player in the NRL.

Even when he was a premiership player at the Tigers in 2005, Fitzhenry copped a pasting from supporters, and things have only gotten worse this season since he returned from the English Super League.

Every week on Tigers websites he is blasted as "pathetic" and belittled as being Tim Sheens's "love child".

But as his match-winning performance against Newcastle on Friday night would attest, he has always been a class act.

Despite the constant hate mail he receives on the net, the backline utility has played more than 100 first grade games and in atrocious conditions at EnergyAustralia Stadium, played a courageous role at full-back in a make-or-break game for the Tigers.

In pouring rain and driving wind, Fitzhenry had the toughest job of all at the back.

He defused of a number of towering kicks that saved his side from a fifth straight defeat.

"I don't read the forums, there's always someone who's got something bad to say about me," he said.

"I think everyone goes through that. But I just do my job and I feel like I'm part of the team and that's it. I don't read them so I don't really care.

"(The weather on Friday night) was just one of those things. The ball is going to be slippery and they're going to test you out. You've just got to do your best, I was lucky it went my way.

"Taking some of those kicks was important. I drop the ball there and they get another set on our line."

Sheens said supporters who continually attack Fitzhenry were put to shame as the makeshift number one lodged in his claim for a permanent posting at full-back.

"Fitzhenry had a great game at the back, he's been criticised heavily amongst fans, who call themselves fans. They give him plenty, but you try and catch a ball in that (Friday's conditions), he did great," Sheens said.

"Fitzhenry took a ball there that I don't think too many would, one of those high balls with the wind behind the kicker. It was a screamer and he swallowed it."

After two years with Hull KR in England, Fitzhenry returned to Tigertown hoping his experience could help Wests to its first final series since 2005.

Rumours during the week suggested Canberra were interested in his services for next year, but Fitzhenry said he has not spoken to anyone.

He is hoping the Tigers have now put their embarrassing loss to South Sydney behind them and, whether it is at full-back or elsewhere, the 30-year-old is determined to see Wests build together back-to-back wins.

"Especially at this time of year. If you want to make a run to the semis, you've got to start getting back to back wins," he said.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Tommy on Israel and State of Origin

League legend Tommy Raudonikis has told Queensland star Israel Folau to 'go to another club and don't come back' in a spectacular tirade on The Matty Johns Show last night.
Raudonikis speaking on Controversy Corner said he wasn't worried if Folau wanted to leave the great game of rugby league.
"Who made him? Rugby league," he said
Folau's stance was defended by former Maroons Chris Close and Shaen Webcke who said he had a right to ply his trade in other codes.
"Israel Folau could have played any game in the world and been an absolute superstar," said Close.
"Do you think Dragons supporters are dirty on Sailor?
"Do you think the Tigers supporters are dirty on Tuqiri?"
Leauge stalwart Ruadonikis didn't hold his tonuge when giving his thoughts on the State of Origin series either.
He told the Maroons that NSW would 'rip their arms off and belt 'em'' this year.
"Five in a row is an embarrassment. This is a war."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rnd 11 - Match Preview

Wentworthville will be out for revenge after Western Suburbs rolled Wenty back in round four at Ringrose Park 30-18. The ‘battle of the birds’ will take place at the newly redeveloped Campbelltown Stadium and both sets of Magpies will be keen to take home the two points. Both sides head into this one with good form, Wests sit second on the competition ladder following a comfortable win last Saturday against the Dragons while Wentworthville’s recent run of good results continued with a comprehensive victory against the Centurions last round. An argument could be made that these two sides are indeed the form sides of the competition at the moment. Since their previous clash back in round four, both sides have lost just the one match each, and both of those were by single figure margins. Wentworthville lose Tom Humble for this one as he is deputising for Jarryd Hayne in the NRL while for Wests both Junior Moors and Geoff Daniela have been named for the Wests Tigers and backrower Josh Davis is the 18th man but barring an injury he is likely to still take his place here. Two high flying sides should make for a tight and entertaining clash and the home ground advantage might be enough to get Wests over the line.

Western Suburbs Magpies Vs Wentworthville Magpies
Campbelltown Stadium, Saturday, May 22
Kick-off: 3.00pm
Referee: Henry Perenara

Baby Magpie Ella

Congratulations to Magpies Front Rower Duan Poaneki and his partner Mel on the birth of their daughter Ella Grace Rautahi. Mum and baby are both doing well, and our hard man has turned into a softie.

R.I.P Reg Southam

Western Suburbs are mourning the passing of Reg Southam. Reg was a rugged forward who played 58 games for the Magpies from 1951 to 1954 including 4 First Grade games, the 506th First Grade player for Wests. Reg passed away on Sunday morning aged 79. He is survived by his children, Steven, Paul, and Michelle.

A Funeral Service for Reg was held at St Joseph's Bulli, Thursday May 20th at 10am.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Wests Tigers Coach Tim Sheens and Captain Robbie Farah have apologised for the side’s very disappointing performance against South Sydney at the SCG today.
The Rabbitohs ran in nine tries to two to destroy the Wests Tigers 50-10 in round 10 of the Telstra Premiership. It was the fourth consecutive loss for the Wests Tigers.
“We owe our fans an apology for that today. The players and I have had a long discussion about it. This week (against Newcastle) can’t come quick enough as far as we are concerned,’’ Sheens said.
“It was our worst performance for some time. I can’t remember a performance like that for a long, long time. It is very disappointing.

“We started poorly in that we didn’t field the kick-off and it just got worse. They out muscled us in the middle and then our edges just fell to pieces. Everything we did went against us, every kick bounced the wrong way, every pass went wrong, so when those sort of things start happening, you know you are in for a tough day.
“It was a very poor performance and we are all putting our hands up, me included. Coaching staff, playing staff. We owe the club better than that.”
Farah said he couldn’t recall a worse performance.
“No, not in my time. As a playing group, we are pretty embarrassed,’’ a dejected Farah said.
“As captain, I like to apologise on behalf of the players to the fans and to the past players that have put this jersey on. It is pretty embarrassing.
“In saying that, we will stick together as a group and we will work hard. We will bounce back.”
Winger Lote Tuqiri said he couldn’t put his finger on why the side performed so poorly.
“We will have to go back and have a look at our own performances individually,’’ Tuqiri said.
“It is a tough time. I have been here with other teams before. We have just got to believe in what we are doing. We are a tough bunch of boys and we just need to stick together.
“The thing is we are 4-5 (four wins, five losses) so it is not panic stations. We have just got to be confident in our own ability which we are and go from there.
“I don’t want to be too negative. I don’t think you will see a worse performance from us this year so that’s probably a good thing.
“We have got the Friday night game and luckily it is not too far away.
“We have just got to take stock and train hard. Get back on the horse and believe in what we are doing. Today, we let our fans down and that’s not good enough.
“Souths played alright but we certainly didn’t play the way we wanted to. We just gave away the ball, didn’t complete our sets. We were all guilty, 1-17.
“It is pretty ordinary when you are walking off (the field) and kids are booing.”
Meanwhile, second-rower Liam Fulton will have scans on Monday to determine the extent of a right shoulder injury. 
Centre Blake Ayshford suffered a groin strain and may also miss the Newcastle match
16/05/2010 10:17:07 PM

Rnd 10 - Match Report

Magpies Refuse to Let Losing Become a Habit

After having allowed Balmain to slip the noose and squandered the chance to go top of the NSW Cup ladder last week at home Western Suburbs were keen to get back that winning feeling against Shellharbour today at Ron Costello Oval. With memories of last year's drubbing at the same venue and the knowledge that consecutive losses could drop them down the ladder quickly Wests had come to the Illawarra determined to take the two points.

The Magpies started with far more intensity than they had last week, and both sides set about working their way into the game. Wests opened the scoring when centre Andrew Everingham intercepted a loose pass on the 50 before linking up with NSW Cup d├ębutante Troy O'Sullivan who raced away to score. Dragons speedster Michael Lett hit back on the 20 minute mark with a try of his own. Wests would take the initiative by forcing a turnover on the first hit up from the kick off and make the Dragons pay dearly with tries to back rowers Nu Akeripa and Josh Davis in quick succession to get out to a 16-4 lead.

Just when it looked like the Magpies were going to cut open the Shellharbour defence a magnificent 40/20 kick put the Dragons on the attack and once again Lett left Black and White defenders clutching at air as he raced in to score. Shellharbour should have scored at the end of the following set when they split the Wests defence and had a no one but Fullback George Kepa to beat. With 2 players in support the pass was thrown too early and the Magpies custodian pulled off a fabulous try saving tackle to save the day. The miss would cost the home side dearly as Wests skipper Nathan Waters would score under the posts from the next set after a clever Davis chip and regather.

The Magpies were pleased to take a 22-10 lead into the sheds after having a few close calls. The coach demanded more commitment from their goal line defence in the second half and to not allow errors to creep into their game as they had last week. The side responded with a solid opening to the half and were rewarded 6 minutes in when centre Geoff Daniela made a bust and put his winger Rhys Pritchard over in the corner. Chris Corby's excellent sideline conversion had the visitors well placed to run away with the game at 28-10. Shellharbour were having none of that though and would dominate the next 25 minutes of the game. The Dragons threw caution to the wind and attacked at every opportunity. Wests were forced to dig deep in defence and turn back a passage of four consecutive sets as the Dragons short kicking game forced three straight drop outs. The Black and Whites weren't going to yield however and they held firm right up until the 70th minute when the Dragons desperate passing finally found a chink in Wests armour for Joe Vickery to score and convert.

With only a 12 point lead and 10 to go a second missed opportunity in two weeks wasn't out of the question, but the Magpies defence again forced an error from the kick off. When Shellharbour was penalised shortly after Corby calmly slotted the 2 points and the game was Wests for the keeping at 30-16. The Magpies would finish the game in fine style when Ben Falcone chipped for Davis to collect in the final minute of the game. Davis offloaded back to the Wests No.6 who then got a fine pass away for Everingham to score in the corner. Western Suburbs were forced to work hard for the win but had the game in control throughout most of the match. With other results favouring them the win has lifted the Magpies back up to 2nd place on the NSW Cup ladder and they return to Campbelltown Stadium this Saturday to take on Wentworthville with another chance to take the lead in the competition.

Best for the Magpies were skipper Nathan Waters, workaholic Front Rower Andrew Pearn, and elusive 5/8 Ben Falcone.

Western Suburbs 34 (O'Sullivan, Akeripa, Davis, Waters, Pritchard, Everingham; Corby 5 goals) defeated Shellharbour 16 (Lett 2, VIckery; Vickery 2 goals)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Rnd 10 Match Preview

Shellharbour Dragons Vs Western Suburbs Magpies
Ron Costello Oval, Saturday, May 15
Kick-off: 3.00pm
Referee: Michael Laverty
The Dragons will be desperate to break a four game losing streak here as they play host to a Wests side who will be looking to bounce back after going down narrowly to the Tigers last week. Shellharbour led Wentworthville 10-6 in the shadows of halftime last weekend only to be comprehensively beaten in the end 50-10. Western Suburbs lost the opportunity to go top of the table as they let slip a 24-12 lead in the second half to eventually go down 28-24 to the ladder leaders, Balmain. Shellharbour’s list continues to be ravaged due to a number of injuries at the NRL level and unfortunately that appears to be coming through in their results. The Magpies have no such worries and continue to field a strong side with Player of the Year Co-leader, Nathan Waters leading them around the park with aplomb. There is little doubt the Dragons are a better side than their position on the ladder reflects, but with every loss, regardless of the underlying circumstances, they make it harder and harder to tip them. The Magpies should win this one but perhaps by a smaller margin than some might think.


Wests Tigers forward Liam Fulton proved to be a smashing hit on The Daily Telegraph online blog today.
Widely regarded as one of the NRL’s resident larrikins, Fulton has successfully pranked the majority of his teammates, nailed some NRL rivals and even had radio personalities hook-line-and-sinker.

In the lead-up to Sunday’s Heritage Round clash against South Sydney at the SCG, Fulton spoke to James Hooper as he took supporters inside the Concord bunker.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rnd 10 - Magpies vs Dragons

The Western Suburbs Magpies have named their team to take on the Shellharbour Dragons this Saturday. A must win game if the Magpies want to keep themselves in the top 4.

Fullback 1 George Kepa
Wing 2 Jarek Goebel
Centre 3 Andrew Everingham Centre
Centre 4 Geoff Daniela
Wing 5 Rhys Pritchard
Five-Eight 6 Ben Falcone
Half 7 Nathan Waters
Front Row 8 Duan Poaneki
Hooker 9 Chris Corby
Front Row 10 Andrew Pearn
2nd Row 11 Simon Dwyer
2nd Row 12 Josh Davis
Lock 13 Jamie Sharkie
14 David Harris Interchange
15 Troy O’sullivan Interchange
16 Kurt Kara Interchange
18 Nu Akeripa Interchange

COACH Leo Epifania

Under 20s Winning Streak

A long winning streak will come to an end for either the Wests Tigers or South Sydney Rabbitohs when the two teams clash in the Toyota Cup competition at the SCG this Sunday, May 16.

Heading into the round 10 clash, Wests Tigers (second) and South Sydney (third) have won six of their eight matches to sit on 14 points.

Competition leaders North Queensland (14 points) have won seven of their eight games prior to their clash against the Sydney Roosters on Monday, May 10.

South Sydney will be looking for their sixth straight victory with Wests Tigers aiming for their seventh consecutive win.

Wests Tigers Coach Grant Jones said his players will be showing plenty of respect to the Rabbitohs.

“Souths are a very good side and are one of the teams to beat this season,’’ Jones said.

“They have a really good balance side. Like us, they have good outside backs who run big metres and a really strong forward pack.

“In saying that, Souths will know they are in for a hard game too against a very quality side. It will be a great contest.”

Jones said his players will have to keep a close eye on impressive five-eighth Matt Mundine.

“Mundine is running the ball more this season and is defending well. He has formed a very good combination with the left centre in Junior Vai Vai. Along with winger Josh Mansour, I feel they are (future) first graders,’’ Jones said.

“The half-back, Adam Reynolds, is very smart and a good goal-kicker. He scored a really good individual try against Manly last week in which he beat about five forwards. He has an excellent short kicking game too.”

“In saying that, Souths will know they are in for an almighty game too against a very quality side in Wests Tigers.”

Wests Tigers captain Matt Hyland said it would be a case of ‘business as usual’ for his team after enjoying a bye last weekend.

“We are very much looking forward to the clash against Souths and the chance to play on the SCG,’’ Hyland said.

“The bye has given us a chance to freshen up. It will be a good game between two of the form teams in the competition.”

Gates open at 11.40am. The Toyota Cup match kicks-off at 11.45am.

Wests Tigers results
Rd 1: lost to Manly 20-12
Rd 2: lost to Sydney Roosters 26-20
Rd 3: beat Parramatta 56-24
Rd 4: beat Canberra 42-34
Rd 5: beat Nth Qld 38-28
Rd 6: beat Bulldogs 36-16
Rd 7: beat Penrith 42-16
Rd 8: beat Sydney Roosters 36-16.
Played 8: 6 wins, 2 losses.
For: 282; Against: 180.

South Sydney's results
Rd 1: beat Sydney Roosters 30-26
Rd 2: lost to Gold Coast 22-16
Rd 3: lost to Cronulla 22-16
Rd 4: beat Canterbury 44-6
Rd 5: beat Newcastle 48-34
Rd 6: beat Parramatta 24-22
Rd 7: beat Canberra 38-20
Rd 8: beat Manly 30-24
Rd 9: bye

Played 8: 6 wins, 2 losses
For: 246; Against: 176

By Wayne Cousins
10/05/2010 3:54:03 PM

Thankyou Kevin Hammond

The Western Suburbs Magpies extend their sincere appreciation to outgoing Executive Chairman Kevin Hammond. Kevin has been a tireless worker for the Magpies in numerous roles, culminating with holding the dual roles of Club Chairman and General Manager for the last 5 years. Kevin’s passion for the Magpies and leadership has been an inspiration to all at Wests and the current strength of the club is due in no small part to his efforts.

Kevin retired on Friday the 30th of April. His last official duty at the club being to attend training and address the NSW Cup and SG Ball squads as they prepared for this weekend’s important clashes. Wests wish Kevin a happy retirement. Wests Director Andrew Waite replaces Kevin as Club General Manager from May 1st.

Monday, May 10, 2010

NSW Cup Round 9 Match Report

Western Suburbs were desperate to put on a good show for the fans in their return to Campbelltown Stadium for 2010. Despite spending the first 8 rounds of the NSW Cup on the road the Magpies were making a huge impression on the competition and sat just 1 point out of 1st place. The chance to snatch top spot from the league leading Tigers whilst extracting revenge on the only side to lower their colours this year had the Magpies primed for a big performance. In the end though the pressure to put on a show may have contributed to an error-ridden performance where Wests squandered a winning position to allow Balmain to escape with a come from behind victory.
From the kick off the vistors looked the far more likely side and the game was only 2 minutes old when Balmain centre Mitch Brown broke through a one on one tackle and sprinted away 60m to score. The Tigers went further ahead minutes later through an inexplicable Magpies error. Blake Lazarus' grubber into the ingoal was cleaned up by Wests custodian Gearge Kepa, but as he ran the ball back into the field of play the No.1 was shepherded towards the sideline. Kepa threw a deperate ball back inside that landed straight into the arms of Tigers centre Gavin Cowan who simply had to bend down to score. Sean Meaney showed what he thought of the Magpie fans heckling to drill two magnificent sideline conversions and Wests were looking down the barrel of a hiding at 12-0 down within the first 10 minutes of the game.
It took until the 20th minute for Wests to finally put some pressure on the Balmain defence and big Front Rower Andrew Fifita made the breakthough with a trademark powerhouse run to score. With Corby adding the extras Wests were back in the game at 12-6. The injection of interchange forwards Andrew Pearn and Duan Poaneki seemed to inspire a much more disciplined and cohesive performance from the Magpies. Wests would score 3 more unanswered converted tries with Jamie Sharkie scoring before the break, followed by tries to Falcone and Daniella early in the second half from kicks giving the home side a 24-12 lead and all of the momentum in the game.
That momentum swung dramatically when Wests were awarded a penalty right in front of the posts 10 minutes into the half. Despite having first choice kicker Corby on the sidelines the Magpies elected to take the shot for goal. Stand in kicker Jamie Sharkie had already piloted two good conversions through the posts, but he shanked the kick badly and the Tigers could feel they had dodged a bullet. With the hard working Pearn going off for a spell not long after the game opened up for the Tigers as they started to take advantage of Wests' errors. It was to be the Magpies destroyers from the Round 2 game, Balmain halves Arana Taumata and Blake Lazarus, that would once again land the knock out blows. In the 20th minute Fifita rushed out of the line to put a hit on Taumata, but the Tigers 5/8 is simply too fleet of foot for that to work and he sprinted through the gap created to score. Just a couple of minutes later the Magpies made exactly the same mistake when Everingham raced up to shut down Taumata, but he managed to roll a clever grubber into the ingoal for his Captain Lee Bennett to ground the ball. Meaney's conversion attempt hit the uprights and Wests were barely hanging on at 24-22.

Both sides spent the last quarter hour of the game trying to lose it with silly options and errors. Lazarus, who had been having a quiet game up until then, took on the line and reached out to score with just 4 minutes remaining. Meaney's missed conversion made things interesting but the Tigers were back in front 26-22. The Magpies weren't able to mount any last minute attacks and Balmain earned a late penalty which allowed to Meaney cleverly wind down the clock before calmly slotting the goal for a 28-24 victory.
Despite the close score and the come from behind victory it was a scrappy game from both sides and not of the standard of recent clashes between the Joint Venture partners. In the end Wests errors invited the Tigers into attacking position one too many times and to their credit the competition leaders found a way to win. Best for the Magpies were interchange forward Andrew Pearn who lifted the side whenever he was on, lock Jamie Sharkie and winger Rhys Pritchard. The Magpies will be looking to strike back hard when they take on Shellharbour next Sunday from 3pm at Ron Costello Oval Shellharbour.
We thank our match day sponsor: Magpie Moments.
Balmain 28 (Brown, Cowan, Taumata, Bennett, Lazarus; Meaney 4 goals) defeated Western Suburbs (Fifita, Sharkie, Falcone, Daniella; Corby 2, Sharkie 2 goals)

NSW Cup Round 8 Match Report

The big question on everybody's lips heading into Saturday's Round 8 NSW Cup match against the Sharks was would the Western Suburbs Magpies be able win without their inspirational skipper Nathan Waters? With the Club Captain finally earning a well deserved call up to First Grade Leo Epifania had to call on Wests Tigers NYC half Liam Ayoub to steer the Magpies around the park. How the Black and Whites adjusted to having a debutante playmaker would go a long way to determining the final outcome of the match.
The Sharks had no such concerns, going into the game with a side boasting Scott Porter and Josh Lewis in the halves, former Magpie junior Stuart Flanagan at dummy half and Adam Cuthbertson in the engine room the team from the Shire had a wealth of NRL experience on call. When the Magpies conceded a penalty from the kick off and Cronulla was celebrating a soft try to Mat Munro only a few tackles later it seemed Western Suburbs' 4 game winning streak was in grave danger of coming to an end.
Cronulla were unable to take advantage of their flying start and the Magpies stand in skipper Rhys Pritchard took charge in the 8th min to even up the scores. The Magpies Winger slotted into first receiver on the 5th and put in a well weighted cross field kick for a leaping Andrew Everingham to outjump his opposite number and score. Geoff Daniella put the Magpies in front in the 23rd minute when he got outside his man and reached out to plant the ball next to the corner post. Chris Corby nailed a beautiful sideline conversion and Wests were starting to dominate.
The Sharks were starting to feel the frustration of a mounting error count and found themselves conceding penalties as they tried to slow the Magpies play the ball. The referee's patience ran out 5 minutes from the end of thee half and Cronulla found themselves down to 12 men. The Magpies weren't going to let the opportunity pass and when 5/8 Ben Falcone layed on a try for 2nd Rower Josh Davis in the final minute of the half Western Suburbs were very pleased to take a 16-6 lead to the break.
A Josh Lewis chip and chase led to the first points of the Second Half when his regather stretched the Magpies defence and earned a Mark Lennon try in the corner, but Wests shifted up a gear to put on the next three tries to put the game beyond the Sharks just when they looked like they might make a game of it.
A dropped ball on the 50 was picked up by Nu Akeripa and he was untroubled as he raced away to score under the posts. Just minutes later Ayoub tested a tiring Cuthbertson close to the line and the nippy half left the big man grasping at air as he skipped away to score. When Ayoub dropped a bomb right over Lennon's head for Pritchard to bring down for the four pointer the Magpies were home at 32-10 with just 15 minutes to play.
With nothing to lose the Sharks began to throw the ball around and it paid dividends with a couple of quick tries to Jamen McLeod and Flanagan to make it interesting at 32-22 with 5 to go. Wests ensured there was to be no miracle escape when Everingham bagged his double on the end of a sharp backline play to put the result beyond doubt.
Whilst the game didn't reach any great heights with both sides guilty of far too many errors, the Magpies were delighted to have ground out another win whilst missing important members of their Front Row rotation and without their half and skipper. Best for Wests were non-stop Lock Jamie Sharkey, powerhouse 2nd Rower Josh Davis, and Liam Ayoub who had a fine debut filling in for Waters.
Their 5th win on the trot lifted the Magpies to 2nd on the NSW Cup ladder. Next week Wests finally put their nomadic existence in 2010 behind them when they return to the newly renovated Campbelltown Stadium to take on Joint Venture partners Balmain in the next instalment of the fiercest rivalry in the NSW Cup. With Balmain just a single point ahead in 1st place on the table this promises to be one of the matches of the season.
Western Suburbs 36 (Everingham 2, Daniella, Davis, Akeripa, Ayoub, Pritchard; Corby 2, Sharkey 2 goals) d Cronulla 22 (Munro, Lennon, McLeod, Flanagan: Lewis 3 goals)

Wests Magpies Blog Goes Online

Welcome to the Western Suburbs Magpies new blog.