Monday, August 29, 2011

Wests Tigers beat Gold Coast at Campbelltown

Wests Tigers moved to the vital fourth spot on the Telstra Premiership ladder tonight with a resounding 39-10 win over the Gold Coast Titans at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.

In front of a crowd of 14, 378, Wests Tigers recorded their seventh straight victory with five-eighth Benji Marshall setting up four tries and scoring one himself. Head Coach Tim Sheens rested Marshall for the final 10 minutes.

Wests Tigers ran in 7 tries to 2.

The win moves Wests Tigers to 32 points equal with the North Queensland Cowboys but into fourth spot on a better points differential (17 points).

Wests Tigers are also now within one win of equalling the club record of 8 for most consecutive wins set on their way to winning the 2005 premiership.

Wests Tigers lost props Bryce Gibbs and Todd Payten through injury. Aaron Woods moved off the interchange bench to replace Gibbs with Ben Murdoch-Masila and Mark Flanagan added to the bench.
The game was just 3 minutes old when five-eighth Benji Marshall scooted out from dummy half to race 20 metres down the blindside before sending centre Matt Utai on a 40 metre run to score next to the posts.
Marshall converted the try for a 6-0 lead.

A superb two man cut out pass by Marshall saw winger Beau Ryan dive over in the right corner to score a brilliant try on the last tackle in the 15th minute for a 10-0 lead. Marshall failed to convert the try from the sideline.

Marshall brought up 800 career points when he got on the end of a break by prop Aaron Woods to race 20 metres acrossfield in a stepping run to score a sensational try next to the posts. Marshall converted the try for a 16-0 lead after 21 minutes.

Video referee Sean Hamsptead was called on in the 28th minute to rule whether Gold Coast five-eighth William Zillman had scored after winger Steve Michaels knocked the ball forward from a crossfield kick that was allowed to bounce by Wests Tigers. It was ruled no try.

Wests Tigers centre Blake Ayshford dived over for a try in the 33rd minute after good lead up work by Marshall and half-back Robert Lui.

Marshall converted the try for a 22-0 lead after 34 minutes.
A minute later, Marshall made a 40 metre break but his inside pass just inches from going over the sideline found Titans second-rower Mark Minichiello 20 metres out from the Gold Coast tryline.

Minichiello opened the Titans account in the 37th minute when he pounced on a grubber kick from Zillman to score in the corner after the Titans got the ball following a loose carry by Wests Tigers full-back Tim Moltzen.
Half-back Preston Campbell's attempt hit the left upright and bounced away to leave Wests Tigers leading 22-4 after 38 minutes.

Wests Tigers left the field to a standing ovation to their 22-4 lead at half-time.

2nd Half

Gold Coast reduced the margin to 22-8 when winger David Mead intercepted a pass from Marshall to race 55 metres untouched to score. Campbell converted the try for a 22-10 scoreline after 49 minutes.
Wests Tigers stretched their lead to 26-10 when winger Lote Tuqiri scored in the left corner in the 61st minute after good lead up work by Utai and Marshall. Marshall failed to convert the try.
A nice step back inside by Moltzen saw him brush past two defenders to score behind the posts in the 66th minute. Marshall converted the try for a 32-10 lead.
Moltzen then popped a short ball for lock Chris Heighington to score near the posts. Utility back Mitch Brown converted the try for a 38-10 lead after 78 minutes.
Hooker Robbie Farah popped a field goal in the final seconds for the 39-10 victory.

29/08/2011 8:51:50 PM

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Wests Tigers supporters – we need you to get behind the team at our final home game of the season at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on Monday, August 29.

With 2 rounds remaining,the sixth placed Wests Tigers will be looking to record a strong win over the Gold Coast Titans in their quest for the all important fourth spot and a home semi final.

Wests Tigers will be hoping their large army of supporters will be out in force for the must win home as they were for the victory over Parramatta Eels at the Sydney Football Stadium.

The Titans match will also mark the last home game for departing Wests Tigers players Tim Moltzen, Todd Payten, Bryce Gibbs, Andrew Fifita, Wade McKinnon and Mark Flanagan.

Kick-off is 7pm. Come on Wests Tigers fans, get there and cheer on the team!

NSW Cup Match Review - Round 24 - Wests v Windsor

This game was the Magpies last at home for season 2011. Whilst Head Coach
Leo Epifania was keen to see his team continue their recent good form he knew
the Wolves were desperate for the win which would put them one point outside
the top eight with two rounds remaining in the regular competition.

The Magpies had the early field advantage, but could not get across the visitors
try line, but in the 10th minute Windsor took full advantage after the Magpies
dropped the ball on the last tackle deep in their own half.

After winning the scrum on the Magpies twenty metre line, the Wolves put on
a sweeping back line movement. The ball was passed to fullback Ryan Walker
who ran a perfect line to beat the cover defense to score the first try of the
afternoon. Five eight Blake Austin guided the ball between the posts to put his
team up 6 points to nil.

The Wolves looked menacing when in possession, but scrambling defense from
the Magpies stopped them short of the try line on a number of occasions.

In the 19th minute the Magpies would level the score at the end of an inspired
patch of football. The ball was taken forward by lock forward David Harris who
drew players to him before off loading the ball to center Chris Tuatara-Morrison.
Tuatara-Morrison drifted towards the sideline before flinging a one handed
pass to wing three quarter Amanono Tovio. Tovio then cut back infield before
throwing the perfect dummy on his way to the try line. David Fifita’s conversion
locked the score up at 6 points all.

The remainder of the half would see both teams make a number of unforced
errors, turning the ball over at crucial times. Those at the ground knew that the
side that got their act together would get away with the win.

Midway through the first half, West’s lock forward David Harris injured his leg
before leaving the field. He took no further part in the game.

During the break, Leo Epifania spoke about finishing the season on a good note;
it was just a matter of how much they wanted to win the game.

Windsor made the early running in the second half. After receiving a penalty
close to the Magpies posts, it was a bit of a surprise when they took the option
of kicking for goal after only five minutes of play. Blake Austin’s conversion put
his team ahead by two points, but there was still a long way to go.

The Magpies replied with a solid defensive effort that paid dividends in the 12th
minute when a ball came loose in a jolting tackle. West’s were given the scrum

feed on the Wolves twenty metre line before a couple of settling runs took them
close to the visitors try line. In the next play, prop David Fifita cut from the open
to the blind side before picking out second row forward Leivaha Pulu who hit the
gap perfectly to cross for a well constructed try. Fifita put his team up 12 points
to 8, but it was still anyone’s game.

Within two minutes, West’s were in again. This time it was a long-range effort
from fullback Rhys Lenarduzzi who had supported the ball carriers down the
center of the field. His commitment certainly paid off when the ball came back
to him with the line in sight. Showing a good turn of speed he sprinted away
for a good try. Half Marc Russell made sure of the extra points to increase the
Magpies lead to 18 points to 8.

The Wolves, to their credit, took the game to the home team. Their halves
put in great attacking kicks, which game them several repeat sets. Despite
a fair bit of possession, they were unable to crack the Magpies line. On two
occasions they looked as if they had scored, only for the referee to rule a double
movement and a dropped ball.

The Magpies made sure of the win in the 30th minute when hooker Troy
O’Sullivan scored alongside the posts. It came after Leivaha Pulu off loaded
to Marc Russell who had backed up on the inside. He in turn passed onto a
charging Aaron Sweeney who pushed through a couple of tackles. The play
seemed to end before Sweeney, with players hanging onto him, picked out Troy
O’Sullivan who showed plenty of determination to beat his pursuers to the try
line. Fifita continued his fine kicking display, claiming third goal of the game.

The Magpies have certainly put in a number of strong performances in recent
weeks and hope to take that form with them when they play Auckland Vulcan’s
in round 26 – the last game of the regular season.

Scorers for the Magpies – Tries to Amanono Tovio, Leivaha Pulu, Rhys
Lenarduzzi and Troy O’Sullivan. 3 conversions to David Fifita and 1 to Marc

Scorers for the Wolves – 1 try to Ryan Walker with Blake Austin kicking 1
conversion and 1 penalty.

Leos best three – Amanono Tovio, Leivaha Pulu and Arthur Little.

Player’s player medallion – Leivaha Pulu.

The Magpies have a bye in round 25 before heading to Auckland to play
the Vulcan’s in round 26 on Saturday 3 September 2011.

Monday, August 15, 2011

NSW Cup Match Report - Rnd 23 - Wests v Cronulla

Wests Magpies were the first on deck for a double header at Henson Park, Newtown. Their opponents were the inform Cronulla Sharks who are in clear 2nd place on the ladder. A number of players, including the experienced Beau Champion were sent back from Melbourne Storm to bolster an already strong team which included Johnny Mannah, Paul Aiton, Stuart Flanagan, Dean Collis and Albert Kelly.

Magpies Captain and second row forward Rocky Trimarchi seems certain to be ruled out for the remainder of the season after suffering a hand injury during last weeks game against Manly, whilst Taqele Naiyavavaro and Jay Maseuli were called into Wests Tigers NYC 20's team after putting in strong performances in the NSW Cup.

It didn’t take long for the forwards from both camps set the scene for what was to be a good game of old fashioned rugby league where the boys threw everything into their attack and defense. In the 10th minute, Magpies Arthur Little went on a darting run around the edge of the ruck. With space in front of him he put in an attacking kick which was knocked on by a Sharks player. Fortune favoured Arthur who collected the rebound before grounding the ball over the Sharks try line. David Fifita's conversion attempt was waved away. Magpies 4 Sharks 0.

The game remained an arm wrestle with both teams putting their bodies on the line trying to gain the upper hand. This continued until the 36th minute when Magpies centre three quarter Chris Tuatara-Morrison spotted a gap out wide. He threw a great pass to his centre partner Andrew Everingham who drew players to him before returning the ball to Tuatara-Morrison. Quick hands saw the ball taken by fullback Rhys Lenarduzzi who scored his teams second try alongside the posts. With the shade of half time approaching, David Fifita made sure his team would go into the sheds leading 10 points to nil.

The second half was only a few minutes old when the Sharks were caught in possession on the last tackle. A long cut out pass was thrown, but the elusive Amanono Tovio grabbed the ball before giving it to Andrew Everingham who raced away to score his teams third try. With the missed goal, Wests still held a handy 14 points to nil advantage.

The Sharks replied with tries to John Williams and Matt Wright to reduce the Magpies lead to just six points, but in the dying minutes the Magpies received a penalty within kicking range. This time David Fifita made no mistake, increasing the Magpies lead to 16 points to 8.

In the end the Magpies grounded out a fine win against a more fancied team. Head coach Leo Epifania stated he was glad the boys put together two wins in a row after just being beaten in round 21 by the Dogs. He indicated that both of his halves, Marc Russell and Arthur Little had combined well throughout the game.

The second game saw Manly defeat the Jets 24 to 10 in what was a great turn around from their previous weeks outing.

The Magpies next game will be their last at home for the 2011 season so lets make it a memorable day – turn up at Campbelltown Sports Stadium in big numbers and show your support for the Mighty Magpies who have been around since 1908.

Scorers for the Magpies - Tries to Mark Russell, Rhys Lenarduzzi and Andrew Everingham. 1 conversion and 1 penalty to David Fifita.

Leos best three - Marc Russell, Arthur Little and Troy O'Sullivan.

Players player medallion - Josh Davis and Mark Russell.

Next game - Round 24 Wests Magpies vs. Windsor Wolves 3pm Saturday 20 August 2011 Campbelltown Sports Stadium.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Wests Tigers will celebrate two player milestones against Penrith Panthers at Centrebet Stadium this Friday night.

Prop Todd Payten and five-eighth Benji Marshall will each play their 150th game for Wests Tigers.

Payten made his first appearance for Wests Tigers against Brisbane at Campbelltown Stadium in round 3 of the 2004 season. He has scored 9 tries in his 149 games for the Club and has been the cornerstone of the Wests Tigers pack for many years.

Payten will retire at the end of the this season and has played 257 NRL games since making his first grade debut for Canberra against Western Suburbs at Campbelltown Stadium in round 18 of the 1996 season.

Marshall captured the attention of the rugby league world when he made his first grade debut for Wests Tigers against Newcastle at Campbelltown Stadium in round 20 of the 2003 season.

The young Kiwi with the amazing sidestep has since gone on to become an NRL superstar, winning the coveted Golden Boot award in 2010 as the world’s best player.

After overcoming a series of season ending shoulder injuries, the Kiwi Captain has played 21 Tests for his country.

A prolific pointscorer, Marshall has played 149 games for 62 tries, 261 goals and 5 field goals for 775 points.

He is just 12 points off breaking Brett Hodgson’s record of 786 points for most points for the Club.

Hodgson achieved the feat in 102 games, scoring 38 tries and kicking 317 goals.

Marshall also holds the Club record of most tries with 62 in 149 games.

9/08/2011 5:03:30 PM

AUS v NZ Test tickets sale announcement

Australia and New Zealand will clash in Newcastle for the first time in seven years on Sunday, October 16 – and Knights Ticketed Members will have the first opportunity to buy tickets from tomorrow.Tickets for the Test at Ausgrid Stadium between Billy Kelly Cup holders Australia and World and Four Nations champions New Zealand will go on sale to Knights Ticketed Members from 10am on Wednesday, August 10.

Tickets will then be available to all Ticketed NRL Club Members from 10am-9pm Thursday, August 11, to Members from 10am Friday, August 12, and to the general public from 10am, Monday, August 15.
Importantly, all Rugby League fans have the opportunity to buy tickets for the Test, simply by registering for free as an member.

Tickets will be on sale through PROTicket at, by calling 1300 12 10 12 or at PROTicket outlets. Members and fans can purchase up to 10 tickets per transaction.
The stand-alone Test will mark a new chapter in the oldest rivalry in Rugby League as well as provide an exciting prelude to the upcoming Four Nations tournament in the United Kingdom later that month.
Ticket Categories and Prices

Price Category Adult Concession Junior Family
1 $65.00 $45.00 $35.00 $180.00
2 $40.00 $30.00 $25.00 $115.00
3 $25.00 $20.00 $15.00 $70.00

Monday, August 8, 2011


Noel Kelly couldn’t but be full of pride as he enjoyed the celebrations inside the Wests Tigers dressing room at the Sydney Football Stadium on Friday night.

One of the proudest and toughest Magpies of them all, Kelly was among some of the Western Suburbs players from the 1961 grand final team that were amongst the well wishers following Wests Tigers win over St George-Illawarra Dragons.

As part of the Club’s tribute to the 1961 team, Wests Tigers players wore the Magpies heritage strip for the match.

Aware how proud Kelly was following the thrilling victory over the Dragons, Wests Tigers second-rower Chris Heighington presented his game worn jersey and shorts to Kelly’s grandson as a memento.
It almost brought the man they called ‘Ned’ Kelly to tears.
The post match celebrations continued well into the night after originally starting at a ’61 Grand Final re-union event at Crowne Plaza, Coogee, organised by Wests Tigers.

It was all part of the Wests Tigers tribute to the Western Suburbs team beaten in the grand final by St George Dragons.

Following a few beverages and plenty of light hearted banter, the Magpies boys travelled to the SFS on a bus to enjoy a function with their grand final opponents.

Prior to the NRL match, players from the ‘61 grand final teams were introduced to the crowd and lined up alongside the Wests Tigers and Dragons teams for the national anthem.

In a great sign of respect, Wests Tigers players, led by Captain Robbie Farah, went along the line and shook every Magpies players hand to acknowledge their achievements.

It was a class act by a classy team.

8/08/2011 11:34:47 AM

Sunday, August 7, 2011

NSW Cup Match Report - Rnd 22 - Fibros vs Silvertails

Although this was a game involving two Clubs sitting at the wrong end of the competition ladder if previous encounters were anything to go by an entertaining and tough game was on offer.

The Magpies line up was subjected to a bit of a reshuffle with Cassiano Aiga moving from the wing to fullback after the withdrawal of Rhys Lenarduzzi who has succumbed to a nagging injury. Amanono Tovio was called into the squad to take the vacant wing position.  David Harris was moved to the interchange bench with Leivaha Pulu coming into the starting line up.

It was a beautiful day at Campbelltown and it did not take Manly long to make the most of the perfect playing conditions. In the 11th minute they received a penalty after putting sustained pressure on the Magpies defense.  With good field position the ball was switched from the open to the blind side which caught the Magpies short.  Their wing three quarter Michael Chapman showed a good turn of speed to reach the try line before the cover defense got to him.  The conversion was waved away.  Manly 4 Wests 0.

In the 14th minute, with ball in hand, Wests went on the attack but a jolting tackle forced the ball loose.  In the next play, Manly again attacked the blind side which paid immediate dividends when hooker Terrence Seuseu sprinted some 35 metres to score near the posts.  Scott Blanch made no mistake with this one, increasing his teams lead to 10 points to 0. 

It was about this time when Wests Captain Rocky Trimarchi left the field with an arm injury.  His replacement was in the form of David Harris who has been playing well for several weeks.

Manly continued to dominate but the Magpies scrambling defense held them out at the end of a number of promising raids.  What could not be defended was the Manlys next try.  It came after their fullback Scott Blanch showed a clean pair of heels, sprinting deep into Magpie territory.  He put in a kick which landed mid field, close to the Magpies try line.  After collecting the ball, it was passed to a support player, who slipped over allowing the ball to roll into his own in goal area.  Scott Blanch, who had followed his kick, simply dived onto the loose ball.  His conversion insured his team held a handy 16 points to 0 lead after only 21 minutes of play.  It was obvious that Wests needed to score before half time whilst preventing more points coming from the opposition.  Around the 30 minute mark the momentum swung towards the Magpies who started to display the type of football they put on the previous week.

The Magpies set up play on the visitors 20 metre line after Manly were penalised for an an infringement in the play the ball.  The hit up was taken by Soni Passa, who made good ground before off loading to his front row partner David Fifita.  Fifita carried the ball and several defenders with him close to the try line before off loading, one handed to five eight Marc Russell who scored alongside the posts.  Fifita kicked the goal to reduce Manlys lead to just 10 points.

Within minutes Wests were in the thick of it again.  Centre three quarter Taqele Naiyavavoro and prop forward Soni Passa charged head on into the opposition.  This was followed by lock forward Josh Davis who picked out Amanono Tovio who had backed up the big fellow.  Tovio weaved his way through Manlys defense before he threw a flat pass to Andrew Everingham who sprinted to the corner for an inspirational try.  Fifita's conversion attempt faded away at the last minute.  Manly 16 Wests 10.

Wests third try came in the 37th minute.  On the back of a penalty, Wests forwards carried the ball to Manlys 15 metre line.  After feigning to pass the ball to the open side, a clever pass was delivered to Taqele Naiyavavoro who used his strength to burrow his way over the line for a great individual try.  Fifita took the two points to level the score at 16 points all.

In the 40th minute, Wests received another penalty adjacent to Manlys goal posts.  With time running out, a decision was taken to go for the two points.  Fifita did not let his mates down when he put his side in front for the first time 18 points to 16.

During the break, Wests Magpies head coach Leo Epifania stressed the need for the team to attack around the play the ball area before giving their backs a go at the opposition.  He also spoke of the teams courage after coming back from 16 points down.

The early exchanges in the second half were dominated by very solid defense, with both teams trying to gain the upper hand.  In the 9th minute, Wests second row forward Leivaha Pulu called for the ball close to Manlys try line.  With defenders all around him he took the option of kicking the ball along the ground into Manlys in goal area.  His second row partner David Harris followed the kick through before diving on the ball to claim the try.  Fifita continued his fine kicking display to take his team further into the lead 24 points to 16.

Play settled with Manly putting on several attacking raids, but the Magpies drew on their reserves to hold them out.  In the 30th minute, Wests five eight Marc Russell followed Leivaha Pulu's earlier example by rolling the ball into Manlys in goal area.  Unfortunately for the visitors, they knocked the ball on which allowed Marc Russell to score his teams fifth try.  Fifitas conversion attempt hit the post, but Wests still held a handy 28 to 16 lead.

With all the running, Wests were soon over for another try.  In the 35th minute, Manly were trying to run the ball out from inside their own thirty metre area when one of their passes was intercepted by Wests second row forward Leivaha Pulu.  Pulu then ran untouched to the tryline.  Fifitas conversion put the boys in black and white into a match winning lead 34 to 16.

With time running out, Manly put in a chip kick which rolled in touch on the Magpies 40 metre line.  After winning the scrum, the ball was passed to Taqele Naiyavavoro who sprinted some 55 metres down the touch line to score his second try of the day.  Not to be outdone, Fifita kicked a fine goal from the touchline.  The final scoreline read Wests Magpies 40 Manly 16.  On another note it was pleasing to see Dayne Craig take the field in the second half after a long lay off due to a knee injury.

Next game – Round 23 Wests Magpies vs. Cronulla Sharks 1pm Saturday 13 August 2011 Henson Park, Newtown.  PLEASE NOTE THE EARLIER KICK OFF TIME!

Scorers for the Magpies – 2 tries each to Taqele Naiyaravoro and Mark Russell with 1 try each to Andrew Everingham, Leivaha Pulu and David Harris.  David Fifita kicked 5 conversions and 1 penalty.

Scorers for Manly – Scott Blanch 1 try and 2 conversions, with tries to Michael Chapman and Terence Seuseu.

Leos best three – Taqele Naiyavavoro, Mitch Achurch and Troy Sullivan

Players player medallion – Soni Passa.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Wests Tigers recorded a gutsy come from behind victory to beat premiers St George Illawarra Dragons 16-14 at the Sydney Football Stadium tonight.

The win was Wests Tigers' fourth consecutive victory and moves the team into seventh place on the Telstra Premiership for the time being.

It was the second straight week Wests Tigers have come from behind to record victory against quality sides Manly and St George-Illawarra.

The match also marked 150th game in the NRL for prop Bryce Gibbs and full-back Wade McKinnon and the 100th Wests Tigers game for prop Keith Galloway.

The opening minutes saw both sides start with plenty of intensity. Emotions overflowed when Benji Marshall was dumped by second-rower Beau Scott after offloading, resulting in a fight.

Marshall failed to convert a penalty goal from 20 metres out in the fourth minute.

Two minutes later, centre Chris Lawrence had the ball knocked out of his grasp as he attempted to score in the left corner.

Wests Tigers continued to muscle up in defence and had some good attacking raids but to no prevail midway through the opening half.

A good tryscoring opportunity went begging in the 28th minute when full-back Tim Moltzen had centre Blake Ayshford and winger Matt Utai in support but lost the ball close to the line.

Moltzen forced the ball dead in the 37th minute when an attacking raid down the left flank by Dragons centre Matt Cooper saw winger Brett Morris put a chip kick over the top for Moltzen to knock it over the dead ball line, forcing a goal line drop out.

Wests Tigers were penalised in the ensuring set when Todd Payten was caught lifting Trent Merrin in a tackle. Five-eighth Jamie Soward converted from 30 metres out to give the Dragons a 2-0 lead after 39 minutes and into half-time.

2nd Half
A Soward bomb in the 47th minute was spilt by Moltzen and into the arms of Dean Young who offloaded to full-back Darius Boyd to score near the posts. Soward converted the try for an 8-0 lead.

Wests Tigers took advantage of a fumble in-goal by Morris when in the ensuring set from a drop out, a crossfield bomb by Robbie Farah saw second-rower Liam Fulton catch the ball to score next to the posts. Marshall converted the try for an 8-6 scoreline with 17 minutes remaining.

Posted Image
Three minutes later, Marshall scored under the posts from a 65 metre break that saw the ball travel through the hands of Marshall, Lawrence and winger Beau Ryan who then sent Marshall on a 25 metre run to score for a 10-8 lead. Marshall converted the try to give Wests Tigers a 12-8 lead.

A cut out pass by Boyd saw Morris dive over in the left corner to score in the 71st minute to level the scores at 12-12

With Soward off the field through injury, captain Ben Hornby converted the try from the sideline to give the Dragons a 14-12 lead after 73 minutes.

Wests Tigers regained the lead in the 75th minute when Marshall gave a cut out pass for Lawrence to race 25 metres down the left flank before giving an inside pass to Ryan to race away to score near the posts for a 16-14 lead.

Marshall failed to convert the conversion attempt with 4 minutes remaining.

The Dragons then got three consecutive scrums inside the final two minutes and in between tempers flaring from a loose ball kicked dead to a scrum almost erupting, Wests Tigers dug deep down to the final seconds to record one of their gutsiest wins of the season.

By Wayne Cousins
Wests Tigers
5/08/2011 9:37:37 PM


Friday, August 5, 2011


It might be 50 years since the 1961 Grand Final decider but Noel Kelly and Arthur Summons can clearly recall the great battles between Western Suburbs Magpies and St George Dragons.

Wests Tigers will commemorate the 1961 Grand Final, won 22-0 by the Dragons, at the Sydney Football Stadium this Friday, August 5, as part of its pre-match entertainment for the clash against St George-Illawarra Dragons.

The Magpies and the Dragons were the two best sides of 1961 after the preliminary rounds as equal leaders.

Western Suburbs claimed all but the first grade premiership in 1961, winning the reserve grade and third grade titles as well as the club championship for the second straight year.

Kelly and Summons spoke to this week about the ’61 Grand Final and recalled some of their great memories.

Wests Tigers will wear a commemorative Wests Magpies heritage strip for the game.

We won everything in ’61 but the first grade title. Jack Fitzgerald was the coach but you will find that Harry Wells, Kel O’Shea, Nev ‘Boxhead’ Charlton and Mark Patch were all about to retire. I had a crook knee and it was my first year after coming down from Qld.

It was my second year at Wests. I couldn’t make first grade because I kept losing the ball.

He couldn’t feed the scrum (laughing).

I never improved either (laughing)…’61 was a pretty hard year for me because I was re-learning the game after going to rugby union. I played league as a kid. In rugby, as soon as you hit the ground you let the ball go because they would ruck over you.I was pretty ordinary at retaining the ball when I came back. I had to improve in ‘61 or they wouldn’t have put me in any side. They swapped Keith Holman from half to five-eighth in ’61. I can’t believe its 50 years already.

The older you get, the quicker it goes too Arthur.

Noel told me once after losing a series of scrums to Souths hooker Freddie Anderson that I was the worst half-back he had ever seen. I had to agree with him (laughing). I didn’t know where to put the ball in.

I forgot to tell you one thing, Arthur. Hookers are never responsible for the ball unless they win it. I would blame the prop and then blame the bloody half-back.

Posted Image

I’ll admit we got beaten fairly solidly in the ’61 grand final. They were the better side and it was the same in ’62. We should have beaten Saints in the 1963 grand final though in the mud. We had beaten them in the two rounds, beaten them in the semis, and went straight to the grand final. They were lucky to beat Balmain in the final.

I thought the mud was very good for my complexion.

You didn’t want to get any scratches from that Bulli soil. You would have had an infection for bloody months. I was worried about getting bogged because of my short legs.

You wouldn’t have found him either!

1961 Grand Final Teams
Western Suburbs Magpies: Don Parish, Dave Barsley, Bill Brown, Bill Martin, Peter Dimond, Keith Holman, Arthur Summons, Kel O’Shea, John Hayes, Bill Carson, Mark Patch, Noel Kelly, Nev Charlton (c).

St George Dragons: Brian Graham, Eddie Lumsden, Reg Gasnier, Dave Brown, Johnny King, Brian Clay, Bob Bugden, Johnny Raper, Norm Provan, Kevin Ryan, Billy Wilson (c), Peter Armstrong, Kevin Brown.

By Wayne Cousins
4/08/2011 9:49:58 AM

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Magpie Steve Georgallis joins the Wests Tigers

Tonight Steve Georgallis has informed the Penrith Panthers he has accepted a role as assistant coach with the Wests Tigers for the 2012 season.

Panthers General Manager Phil Gould said "Steve has informed us he will be moving on next season. On behalf of the Panthers Board of Directors and I am sure all Panthers fans we would like to sincerely thank Steve for his contribution to the club and congratulate him on his appointment".

"Personally I am glad he has decided to stay in the NRL rather than accept opportunities overseas. I know he will learn alot working with a great coach like Tim Sheens in the meantime we know Steve will continue with his best efforts to qualify the Panthers for the top finals series this season".

Georgallis made his debut with the Roosters in 1989 playing halfback.[1] Over the 4 seasons with the club he had spells playing at five-eighth, fullback and centre without being able to cement a position, making only 38 appearances.

Joining the Magpies in 1993, he proved just as adaptable, and was a cornerstone of the team for 7 seasons, playing in 148 games.[1] During this time he also spent an off-season in England playing for Wakefield Trinity. By 1999, Georgallis had started making appearances at lock, and was captaining the struggling Magpies. He played a season mostly from the bench for the Wests Tigers after the merger with Balmain. He was cheered from the field at the completion of his last Australian game.[2]

In 2001, Georgallis joined the Warrington Wolves for a season. Wolves' coach Darryl Van de Velde said at the time, "He knows what Rugby League's all about. He is very strong, has good hands and is always busy on the field."[2] Unfortunately, Georgallis only lasted 6 games before the end of his professional career, though he did make later appearances as captain of Greece.

Congrats to Magpie Junior Bryce Gibbs on Reaching 150 NRL Games

Wests Tigers could celebrate 3 player milestones at the Sydney Football Stadium this Friday night.

Prop Bryce Gibbs will play his 150th club/career game in the NRL after making his debut against Penrith at Penrith Football Stadium in round 24 of the 2003 season.

Full-back Wade McKinnon has been named on a five man interchange bench and should he make the final 17, will play his 150th career game in the NRL following previous stints at Souths, Parramatta and the Warriors.

Prop Keith Galloway will play his 100th game for Wests Tigers after joining the Club from Cronulla Sharks for the 2006 season.

Upcoming matches for the Wests Tigers

Wests Tigers will play Gold Coast Titans at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on Monday, August 29.
The NRL today released the schedule of matches for round 25 of the Telstra Premiership.
The match will kick-off at 7pm and will be shown live on Fox Sports 2.

Upcoming matches
Rd 22: vs St George-Illawarra, Sydney Football Stadium, Friday, August 5, 7.30pm (Ch 9)
Rd 23vs Penrith, Centrebet Stadium, Friday August 12, 7.30pm (Ch 9).
Rd 24: Parramatta, Sydney Football Stadium, Sunday, August 21, (Ch 9)
Rd 25 vs Gold Coast Titans, Campbelltown Sports Stadium, Monday, August 29, 7pm (Fox Sports 2)


Wests Tigers will commemorate the 1961 Grand Final at the Sydney Football Stadium on Friday, August 5, as part of its pre-match entertainment for the clash against St George-Illawarra Dragons.

The 1961 Grand Final saw St George Dragons beat Western Suburbs Magpies 22-0. Earlier, the Dragons beat the Magpies 9-4 in the major semi-final.

Wests then beat Balmain Tigers 7-5 in a tough final to set up the premiership decider with the Dragons.
The two best sides of 1961 fought out the grand final after both teams finished equal leaders on 30 competition points after the preliminary rounds.

The Magpies claimed all but the first grade premiership in 1961, winning the reserve grade and third grade titles as well as the club championship for the second straight year.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 61 Grand Final, players from the St George and Western Suburbs teams will be paraded around the ground prior to the NRL blockbuster between Wests Tigers and St George Illawarra.

It promises to be a great night of rugby league, celebrating the past and present.

1961 Grand Final Teams

Western Suburbs Magpies: Don Parish, Dave Barsley, Bill Brown, Bill Martin, Peter Dimond, Keith Holman, Arthur Summons, Kel O’Shea, John Hayes, Bill Carson, Mark Patch, Noel Kelly, Nev Charlton (c).

St George Dragons: Brian Graham, Eddie Lumsden, Reg Gasnier, Dave Brown, Johnny King, Brian Clay, Bob Bugden, Johnny Raper, Norm Provan, Kevin Ryan, Billy Wilson (c), Peter Armstrong, Kevin Brown.