Saturday, 16 March - 3.15pm
Match: Magpies v Sea Eagles
Venue: Leichhardt Oval
Magpies fly high in battle of the west
Josh Reynolds didn’t end up turning out for Western Suburbs, but the Magpies have still started their 2019 campaign in the best way possible with a convincing 23-4 victory over the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles at Leichhardt Oval.
As expected in their first game of the season, both sides spent the opening exchanges testing each other out, with the Magpies having the first opportunity to trouble the scorers, though couldn’t capitalize.
Blacktown took full advantage of their first sniff, with five-eighth Luke Metcalf slicing through the Wests right-hand defenders, racing away to score a brilliant individual try. Metcalf couldn’t convert his try leaving the visitors with a 4-0 lead.
Moments later Wests hit back through their five-eighth Tyson Gamble, who crashed over the stripe from close range. The try was converted by Gamble, giving his side a 6-4 lead.
Wests had a mountain of possession, throwing a lot at the Eagles, though they were more than ready for the task, scrambling to defend three try-scoring opportunities throughout the first-half, meaning they went into the sheds just two-points behind.
The heavy defensive load in the first stanza was starting to take a toll on Blacktown, with Wests play-maker Kauri Apuouri-Puketapu running in two quick tries shortly after the resumption, extending their lead to a 16-4.
Not only was the defensive load taking on Blacktown’s defence, it was also affecting their ability to hold the steeden. Hale’s men were only able to complete one of their first four sets, after returning from the sheds.
Wests again took full advantage of the Eagles misfortunes, scoring another four-pointer courtesy of Kane Mcquiggin. This made a comeback from the visitors seem near impossible,even with over fifteen minutes of play remaining.
Gamble put the icing on a solid team and individual performance moments before the full time hooter, booting a neat field goal to secure his side a 23-4 victory.
The Workers will shift their focus swiftly to their Round 2 clash against the North Sydney Bears at Lottoland, while the Magpies will look to keep the momentum going against the Warriors at Campbelltown.