Monday, February 24, 2014

OAMPS Pre-Season Match Report: Wests v Windsor

Western Suburbs began their 2014 OAMPS pre-season campaign in style with a physical and deserved 26-16 victory over Windsor at Lidcombe Oval.

After being outclassed a fortnight earlier by the Penrith Panthers NSW Cup side, the Magpies looked to show what they were capable of, and the Magpies didn't take long to demonstrate they meant business.

After a series barnstorming runs, Dayne Craig ran the short side to create an overlap before handing off to Tala Mapesone, who strolled over. Michael Stevens potted the touchline conversion and the Magpies led 6-0 after just four minutes.

An exchange of penalties and handling errors stalled the game but with seven minutes to quarter time, the Magpies added to their lead with a series of short passes down the left hand side finding Junior Vaivai, who stepped inside the Windsor fullback to touch down. Michael Stevens pushed the kick across the face of goal, which saw Wests secure a 10-0 lead which they took to the first break.

Wests picked up where they left off with a bizarre try to begin the second quarter. A Windsor bomb was allowed to bounce and was picked up by Junior Vaivai. Vaivai kicked ahead to avoid going out and was deemed to have regained possession by the referee despite the protests of the Wolves players. From the ensuing play the ball, Michael Stevens sold a dummy to the first marker and sent Rusty Bristow storming through what would more accurately be described as a chasm rather than a gap in the Windsor defence, Bristow running 50 metres to touch down out wide. Stevens again failed to convert, Wests ahead 14-0 four minutes in.

Wests added to their score on ten minutes with Brstow's second try, who carried plenty of defence over the line after a glorious long ball from Michael Stevens. Unfortunately, Stevens' boot wasn't quite as on song as his hands, with yet another conversion attempt sailing wide, with Wests now leading 18-0.

Windsor needed to score quickly and did so Iain Riccardi, who performed a neat hit and spin manoveure to touch down. James Thiel added the extras from alongside the posts and Windsor were back to within a dozen.

However, Windsor could not maintain their momentum and right on halftime, the Magpies registered their fifth try with Stevens again playing provider with a long ball, which this time found the chest of Junior Vaivai. Unfortunately yet another Stevens conversion sailed wide, with Wests heading to the main break ahead 22-6.

The third quarter was memorable not for any wonderful attacking moves, but rather the incredible scrambling defence Wests put together to begin the period. This was vindicated seven minutes into the second half, as a lovely cutut ball from Nu Akeripa sent Tala Mapesone in for his second of the day, the third player to register a double. Michael Stevens was not enjoying a change of luck with the kicks, Wests ahead 26-6 after 49 minutes.

As the third quarter wound down, Wests were starting to feel the pinch of some extended periods of defence, and Windsor prop Jack Quealey took advantage of a tiring Magpies defence to charge through the Magpies' smaller player to grab a try. James Thiel failed to convert and, with 20 minutes to play, Wests lead by 26-10.

The final quarter was a true trial as both sides gave up the ball as often as penalties, although the Wests defence was certainly the more aggressive. However, Windsor would have the last laugh, as Logan Geyer stormed through the Wests defence to race from halfway to score. Iain Riccardi slotted the extras, but it was too little too late as the Magpies ran out victors by 26-16.

Magpies coach Leo Epifania said he was happy wth the performance as, although there was still much to work on, there were clear signs of improvement from the team's last performance against the Panthers. Epifania said more hard work and more game time would see even more improvement and he felt the Magpies are n the right path for the coming season.

Wests will now look to take revenge for their elimination in last year's preliminary final when they take on Wentworthville next weekend.

WESTERN SUBURBS 26 (Tala Mapesone 2, Junior Vaivai 2, Rusty Bristow 2 tries; Michael Stevens 1 from 6) def WINDSOR 16 (Iain Riccardi, Jack Quealey, Logan Geyer tries; James Thiel 1 from 2, Iain Riccardi 1 from 1)

Penalties: Wests 6 Windsor 13

Halftime: Wests 22 Windsor 6

Western Suburbs

1. Ryan Clarke
2. Tala Mapesone
3. Rusty Bristow
4. Jerome Mose
5. Junior Vaivai
6. Andrew Sultana
7. Michael Stevens
8. Jarrad Szczudlo
9. Dayne Craig
10. Fred Tevago
11. Shane Lalogafau
12. Nu Akeripa
13. Tunui Maurangi

14. Rhys Norman
15. Maurangi Maurangi
16. Rhys Tucker
17. Craig Shipley
18. Hayden Johnston
19. Jacob Folent
20. Thomas Crealy
21. Ronnie Palumbo
22. PJ Hunt
23. Fran Welsh
24. Soni Passi
25. David Ryan


1. Adam Williams
2. Naya Freeman
3. Mitch Denning
4. PJ Cartwright
5. Chris Aunese-Scanlan
6. Logan Geyer
22. Kauri Aupouri
8. Jack Quealey
9. Campbell Battye-Smith
10. Jordan Hall
11. Iain Riccardi
15. Rangi Tagaloa
13. Dave Cowhan

14. Ryan Traonte
16. David Mahe
17. Malcolm Timbery-Thornton
18. Darcy Trindall
19. Jason Doran
20. James Thiel
21. Brandon Smallwood

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