In their last trial before the season kicks off and their first against a fellow NSW Cup side, Wests were on the receiving end of a heavy defeat at the hands of last year's NSW Cup wooden spooners, Manly to the tune of 58 to 10 at Brookvale Oval.
Coach Trevor Schodel could not hide his disappointment at the result in which fundamental errors costs Wests dearly. There was plenty of dropped balls, missed one on one tackles, penalties and poor ball security and Manly made the most of those errors. Wests made far too many errors in both halves and were never in the game as a result.
The game did not start well for Wests when Manly scored out wide as a result of a missed one on one tackle in the 2nd minute. Manly scored again in the 9th minute after receiving consecutive sets of 6 tackles as a result of dropped ball from Wests. Manly were in again before Wests posted their first points of the game in the 29th min when winger Sharlon Taki ran onto a wonderful cut out pass from halfback Nigel Millgate. However Manly were in again in the 33rd minute after again getting consecutive sets of tackles from another Wests error. The magpies did score a few minutes from halftime when Sharlon scored his second try after a clever kick down the blindside by Millgate was kicked through and regathered.
Half time Manly 20 Wests 10.
The less said about the second half the better. Both Manly and Wests used what could be considered their top squads in the first half but used their second squads in the second half. Manly won the second half 38 to 0 with tries in the 2nd, 8th, 10th, 13th 17th, 22nd, 34th and 37th minutes. Former magpie Ben Falcone featured predominantely in some of the Manly tries. Too many errors in the second half from Wests had Manly making easy yards everywhere on the paddock as a result.
Coach Trevor Schodel will this week sit down with his coaching staff to finalise his squad for the upcoming season. If Wests can reduce their error rate they will trouble plenty of sides, if they don't reduce the errors, it could be a long season ahead.
Wests next game will be the opening round of the NSW Cup on Saturday 3rd March at their old stomping ground Lidcombe Oval and their opponent will be, Manly. Kick off is at 3pm.