The new look magpies took the field in their first trial match in 2012 today against Bundaberg Cup outfit, Kingsgrove Colts at Scarborough Park, Monterey and came away with an impressive 32 to 16 victory. The match was played in hot and very gusty conditions and coach Trevor Schodel gave his entire squad of around 30 players a run during the course of the match. Due to the conditions (and lack of touch judges), it was decided that no shots at goals would be made.
The magpies were led by former Cronulla and Newtown halfback, Nigel Millgate and it was Nigel who set up the first try in the 12th minute with a bomb to the corner which was dropped by the Colts winger and eventually the ball came to second rower, Alex Frail to score a four pointer. Nigel was in the thick of it again when he scored Wests their second try 3 minutes later which came after some solid defence by the magpies resulted in a dropped ball by the Colts and four tackles later the try resulted. Kingsgrove scored an opportunistic try with a deft ingoal kick resulted in a try - the only problem was that there was no ingoal area marked. Due to the hot and windy conditions, the game was played in four quarters and this proved an ideal opportunity for Trevor to rotate his players. Wests were up 8 to 4 at quarter time.
Captain, Nigel Millgate set up the 3rd Wests try 6 minutes into the second quarter with a cross field kick which was plucked out of the air by the winger to score in the corner. Wests up 12 to 4. However from the kickoff, Wests lost possession from a jolting first tackle and within 2 rucks, Kingsrove scored to make it 12 to 8. Wests were able to maintain defensive pressure from the kickoff and a clearing kick on the last tackle from Kingsgrove was only able to land near halfway. Then in a passing movement from winger to winger on the first tackle, Wests were in again thanks to rangy centre, Greg Davis to make the score16 to 8. Wests fifth try 14 minutes into the second quarter saw a magnificent sweeping backline movement with quick hands that would make even the Brisbane Broncos proud. The halftime score was Wests 20 Kingsgrove 8.
At halftime Trevor drilled into his team to keep their defensive line intact, back up the man with the ball and that they keep looking out for each other. He said the 2 tries by Kingsgrove were from little lapses in concentration by Wests and overall the defensive line had been very good.The first 5 minutes of the 3rd quarter saw some big hits from the huge Wests pack led by Eddie Sua. However it was Kingsgrove who scored the first try 7 minutes in. Sustained pressure saw the magpies line breached with consecutive sets of 6 and the Colts reduced the score to 20 to 12. The next 10 minutes was a dour struggle as Trevor used several replacements and Kingsgrove were able to score another tryjust before the break to reduce the score even further, 20 to 16.
A stern 3/4 time talk by Trevor and some changes at the break saw the magpies come out with renewed vigor in the final quarter posting tries in the 4th, 9th and 18th minutes to win the game 32 to 16.
Trevor said he was extremely happy with the hit out from the boys today particularly with the conditions being what they were. He was very impressed with the efforts from the big pack Wests have and the overallefforts from every one that played. Trevor is confident he has a squad that will be very competitive in 2012 and will put the final touches for a main squad in the coming weeks when further trials will be played.
The magpies will enter a squad for the up coming Cabramatta International 9's tournament to be held at Cabramatta's New Era Stadium on Saturday 4th Feb commencing at 10am. Trevor will finalise his lineup later this week for the tournament and a draw will be issued by the organisiers shortly.