Cabramatta showed enormous energy to overcome Western Suburbs 38-10 last weekend at Leichhardt Oval. The score line certainly did not reflect Wests Magpies commitment, but the mounting injury toll throughout the game did not help them.
Cabramatta opened the scoring after ten minutes, with a try to Jason Gray after a right hand spread. Gray missed his conversion attempt, Cabramatta jumping to a 4-0 lead.
From the kick-off, Wests were penalised for offside, however, for the second time in two penalties, Cabramatta failed to find touch.
Cabra made amends five minutes later, with a try to hooker Trent Trotter, who found space after a run around to scoot through. Jason Gray was successful on this occasion, Cabra leading 10-0 after 17 minutes.
Error free football was the emphasis for the next ten minutes until Cabramatta posted their third try, with Danny Barakat on the end of a long range try from inside Cabra’s own half. Jason Gray slotted the two points, and Cabramatta led 16-0 after 27 minutes.
Cabramatta almost added to their tally from the restart, but Pierce Sanford couldn’t hold the ball under a strong tackle from Tuiniua Paiaaua.
The two-blues did add their fourth try just four minutes later when Judah Lavula touched down. Jason Gray added the extras and Cabra held their 22-0 break into the interval.
From the ensuing set Cabras Judah Lavula barged his way through the Wests defence to grab his second of the afternoon. Jason Gray was successful with the conversion, Cabra out to a 28-0 lead with just three minutes elapsed in the second half. The lack of fit interchange players was taking its toll on the Magpies players, but they continued to put their best foot forward.
Wests nearly had their first after Cabramatta coughed up the ball on the restart, but the Cabramatta defence rushed up well to defuse the situation.
Cabramatta’s defence started showing signs of weakness as Tom Morrison made healthy yards through the middle. However, the last tackle kick was a little too big and Cabramatta were off the hook.
The Blues took their reprieve with both hands, and a bustling run by Ivan Penehe allowed Don Thompson to zoom up inside to touch down. Jason Gray added his fifth goal of the afternoon, Cabramatta 34-0 up with just under half an hour to play.
Back and forth football became the mantra as both sides looked to play an expansive game, and when the referee called a knock-on against Wests in covering a Cabramatta kick, the Blues field position paid off, with Jason Gray touching down in the right corner despite heavy attention from the cover defence. Gray couldn’t convert his own try, but the Blues held a healthy 38-0 lead with 20 minutes to play.
Wests resolve strengthened and they nearly got on the board with 15 minutes left, but Chris Toripo diffused a Nathan Waters kick to force a drop out, Wests unable to capitalise after a lucky deflection found James Trotter behind the Cabra defensive line.
A dusty pass from Wests with 11 minutes to go had Cabramatta eyes lighting up, however the enthusiasm proved excessive, with Tom Morrison going on a 60 metre run before being cut down. From the play-the-ball, Cabramatta somehow recovered to knock down an inside pass from Chris Standing.
Wests were determined to finish the game strongly when Nathan Waters threw a long ball which almost saw Sam Aiga break through. On the next tackle, Mason Talolua found space and sent a looping pass on for Sam Aiga to register the Magpies’ first points of the day. Michael Stevens slotted the two, Cabra maintaining a 38-6 lead with six to play.
Wests struck again quickly from the restart, Nathan Waters showing that perseverance pays off with a bomb finding Tuiniua Paiaaua without a marker after Cabra compressed their defence. Michael Stevens hit the post from the touchline, Cabra up 38-10 with four minutes remaining.
Wests were showing plenty of pluck in the dying minutes, and a Nathan Waters chip kick was touched by Cabramatta, the Blues fortunate that Chris Standing was adjudged to have knocked on, Cabramatta running out with a 38-10 win.
For the Blues, the Trotter brothers showed plenty of energy with Max Napa leading the way in the pack
For Wests Magpies, Nathan Waters had his hands in everything, while Tom Morrison, Jerome Mose and Dean Rysko had strong games. Wests Magpies showed plenty of courage throughout the game.
Several injuries prevented Wests players coming back into the action and as a result they finished the game with twelve players on the paddock.
In what may be a first, all of Wests Magpies front row forwards were injured in the first half. The
team battled on for long periods without any fit interchange players before another player succumb to injury which left the Magpies with 12 players to finish off the last 15 minutes of the game. It is a credit to the players that they scored 10 unanswered points during this period.
Head Coach, Leo Epifania stated he could not have been more proud of the boys for their never ‘give up’ attitude.
CABRAMATTA 38 (Jason Gray 2, Judah Lavula 2, Don Thompson, Danny Barakat,
Trent Trotter tries; Jason Gray 5 from 7) def WESTERN SUBURBS 10 (Sam Aiga,
Tuiniua Paiaaua tries; Michael Stevens 1 from 2) Penalties: Wests 5 Cabramatta 6.
Halftime score: Wests 0 Cabramatta 22.
14. Chris Standing
2. Tuiniua Paiaaua
3. Sam Aiga
4. Jerome Mose
1. Amanono Tovio
6. Michael Stevens
7. Nathan Waters
8. Dean Rysko
9. Dayne Craig
10. Matiasi Toutai
11. Mason Talolua
12. Tom Morrison
21. Seffa Silafau
15. Todd Makejev
16. David Atuau
17. Edwin Connor
18. Tenisio Ahovelo
1. Don Thompson
2. Jason Gray
3. Pierce Sarsford
4. Danny Barakat
14. Chris Toripo
6. James Trotter
20. Ernest Alo
8. Max Napa
9. Trent Trotter
19. Judah Lavula
11. Nick Eshmanm
15. Matt Hall
13. Henry Taufaao
12. Tuki Jackson
16. Pat Lennard
17. Ivan Penehe
18. John Lopali