The Wests line up suffered a blow in the minutes leading up to the kick off with
the withdrawal of representative utility player Josh Davis. A reshuffle took place
with Jay Bonnell coming into the starting team at fullback, Cassiano Jr Aiga
moving to centre three quarter and Taqele Naiyaravoro taking up his customary
position on the wing.
The game started badly for the Magpies when the Windsor Wolves scored a
converted try in the 2nd minute through prop forward Duan Poaneki, a former
Magpie player. Poaneki crashed over close to the posts after an attempted
clearing kick from the visitors was charged down. Harry Siejka converted the try
to take maximum points.
The Magpies quickly re gained their composure, putting pressure on the Wolves
who were kept pinned down deep in their territory. Despite having several
opportunities to even the score, the Wolves defense rallied to hold them out.
Both teams then started to make unforced errors when chances were presented
to gain extra points. It must have been frustrating for both camps to see the
number of passes going to ground when their respective team was in good
The chances seemed to swing in the Magpies favor after lock forward David
Harris charged down a kick on half way. The ball bounced perfectly for him
before he strode towards the Wolves try line. He drew a couple of players
before off loading to second row forward Leivaha Pulu who looked certain
to score but a terrific tackle from fullback Coedi Towney put an end to the
In the 30th minute Leivaha Pulu found himself in the thick of things again. After
breaking the line and making good ground his forward motion was halted by
three Windsor defenders. The play appeared to end there but Pulu got a pass
away to centre three quarter Cassiano Aiga who sprinted to the line. Rhys
Lenarduzzi’s conversion locked up the scores at 6 all.
The Wolves hit back in the 36thminute when Ryan Walker, showing good speed
outpaced the cover defense to score his team’s second try. The conversion from
a wide angle was unsuccessful. The score line of 10 points to 6 would see the
end of the scoring in the first half.
The first half showed that both teams were more than capable of taking the two
competition points. The Wolves backline though Ryan and Cody Walker looked
dangerous whilst Junior Paulo, Yileen Gordon and their mates kept the middle
tight. Both teams attack was certainly exciting to watch and brought the crowd
to their feet on several occasions but there was one obvious question, who
would be the first to cut out the errors.
In the sheds at half time, Wests head coach Leo Epifania certainly left the
players in no doubt what he expected of them in the second half. His focus was
on ball security.
The second half was only 6 minutes old when lock forward David Harris rolled
the ball over the Wolves try line to gain a repeat set. After a towering line drop
out was caught on the half way, Magpie forwards Aaron Sweeney, David Fifita
and Leivaha Pulu took turns to carry the ball hard downfield. The ball was
played on the opposition’s ten metre line before being collected by David Harris
who stepped off his right foot before diving under the black dot. Lenarduzzi’s
conversion put the visitors in the lead 12 points to 10.
The Magpies play certainly changed in the second half. They guarded the ball
when in attack and defended stoutly when the Wolves threatened. Their effort
paid off in the 23rd minute when David Harris put in a relieving kick which was
knocked on by the Wolves. Leivaha Pulu dived onto the loose ball before his
team received two quick penalties, giving them easy metres. Pulu backed up
with another strong run before claiming a try of his own. With Lenarduzzi
adding to his total, the Magpies increased their lead to 18 points to 10.
The Magpies forwards continued to run strongly up the middle of the ruck and
when called upon, put in some very solid tackles.
In the 28th minute Wests five eight Marc Russell put up a high kick which was
knocked on by the Wolves inside their try line area. Wests centre three quarter
Cassiano Aiga was jolly on the spot to claim his second try of the afternoon. The
conversion from Lenarduzzi put the Magpies in a match winning lead, 24 points
It was clear to see that the Magpies wanted to make their try line out of bounds
for the opposition as they dug deep to hold the Wolves out for the remainder
of the game, but in the dying minutes they added to their own tally. First prop
forward Aaron Sweeney charged through the Wolves line followed by his partner
David Fifita. Quick hands presented the ball to big wing three quarter Taqele
Naiyaravoro who reached over the line one handed to slam the ball down.
Lenarduzzi’s conversion went astray and as the game came to an end, the
Magpies recorded a fine 28 to 10 points win.
Wing three quarter Amanono Tovio had a very solid hit out. He made several
damaging runs from dummy half, took high balls under pressure whilst being
sturdy in defense.
After the game, head coach Leo Epifania recognised the efforts of captain and
second row forward Rocky Trimarchi who had a fine all round game, a true
captains knock. He simply led by example.
Scorers for the Magpies – Cassiano Jr Aiga 2 tries, 1 try each to David Harris,
Leivaha Pulu and Taqele Naiyaravoro with Rhys Lenarduzzi kicking four goals.
Player’s player medallion – Amanono Tovio.
Leos best three – Amanono Tovio, Aaron Sweeney and David Fifita.
Next game – Wests Magpies vs. Wentworthville Round 19 3pm Sunday 17 July
2011 3pm Ringrose Park, Wentworthville.