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Monday, 30 May 2005
Wests had suffered a horror 7 week stretch without a win the NSWRL Premier League competition coming into Friday Night's clash against the Rabbitohs at Campbelltown Stadium. The Magpies previous win was a 70 - 10 demolition of Souths and so they were hoping to restart their season with another victory. On the other hand the Bunnies were in no mood to be Wests doormat and instead were looking to offload last place to the Black and Whites.
As in previous weeks, the team got away to a good start with committed defence and ball movement across the backline. In the 14th minute Matt Jobson scored after 5/8 Ben Roberts had made an incisive run. The extras were added by half Ben Reynolds. The Rabbitohs tried to breach the defensive line several times, but the Magpies dogged defence held them out. Wests forwards continued to dominate their opposition and in the 28th minute skipper Isaac De Gois scored from a Roberts' grubber kick. Again Reynolds added the extras putting the home side further ahead 12 ? 0. The remainder of the half saw the Magpies control field position and in the 31st minute fullback Shannon McDonnell scored out wide and this was quickly followed by a great try from prop Ray Cashmere who did his best 5/8 impression eluded several attempts to tackle him on his 15m arcing run to the line. Following successful conversions from Reynolds the Magpies led 24 ? 0 at the break.
The coach sent the team out for the second half after reminding them of the need to maintain ball control and continue with their strong defence, however the break had been a disaster for the home side and the Rabbitohs responded by dominating the first twenty minutes of the second half. Souths put the game back in the balance with three unanswered converted tries reducing the Magpies lead to 24 - 18.
Several promising attacking raids were made by the Magpies which failed to yield any points, however in the 28th minute centre Dean Collis hauled in a bomb to score an excellent try and the Magpies again had some breathing space at 28 - 18. The Rabbitohs never say die attitude saw them again score a converted try following a controversial Roy Bell break and Wests were forced to hang on with a lead of just four points. The game remained in the balance until the 39th minute when a penalty goal from Reynolds sealed the game 30 - 24 and the full time siren sounded before the Bunnies had a chance to restart. The Magpies theme song rang out in the dressing room after the game with smiles all round after the Magpies put some of their recent misery behind them and collected the vital 2 points.
Best for the Magpies - Ray CASHMERE, Ben REYNOLDS, Shannon MCDONNELL and Isaac DE GOIS.
The Magpies travel to Energy Australia Stadium, Newcastle on Sunday 5 June 2005 for their round 13 match against the Newcastle Knights. Kick off at 1.00pm.