Magpies Close the Gap on the Top

Monday, 30 May 2005

Western Suburbs' Jersey Flegg side have continued there recent good form by scoring an important win against the 7th placed Rabbitohs. The Magpies victory reverses the result of the earlier Redfern Oval clash and reduces to just 1 point the gap between Souths Juniors and the 8th placed Magpies.

Wests went into the game looking to make it three wins in a row if they could defeat the in form South Juniors and to hold onto their spot in to the top 8 of the competition. Coach Leo Epifania was forced into one late change before the match, with winger Justin Coveney coming into the side for the injured Don Thompson.

From the kick off the Magpies looked to take the advantage and made several strong runs up the centre of the ground which resulted in prop Ben Weir scoring a try beside the posts in the 9th minute of the game. The extras were added by Warren Williams taking the score to 6 - 0. From the restart the backline moved the ball down field with big centre Williams scoring out wide to increase the lead to 10 - 0.

The Magpies bombed further scoring opportunities following a number of attacking raids on the oppositions try line and gave the Rabbitohs the chance they were looking for. In the 23rd minute they scored a converted try reducing the Magpies lead to 10 - 6. Following the kick off, the Magpies capitalized on a Souths error and hooker Kerry Smith scored a fine try in the 25th minute after a darting run from the 20m line. Williams converted the try with the Magpies now leading 16 ? 6. Right on half time the Rabbitohs converted a repeat set and scored in the corner with just seconds left to the hooter. A magnificent sideline conversion gave Souths juniors a lift as they left the field trailing only 16 - 12 when Wests should have been considerably further in front.

From the resumption of play the Bunnies displayed some fine attacking football which resulted in their third try. With the extras, they hit the lead 18 - 16. The crowd could see the Magpies players urging themselves on and in the 7th minute lock Bart Masters put up a bomb which prop Ben Weir plucked out of the air like a wingman to score his second try of the game. Williams converted from out wide, putting the Magpies back in front 22 ? 18.

The Rabbithohs again took the lead 24 ? 22 due to another try out wide and perfect sideline conversion and looked like they might go on with the job. Wests though have put their early season capitulations behind them and regrouped to finish the stronger. Centre Robert Chauvet scored the first of his two tries after Masters again went to the air. With the extras the Magpies led 28 - 24 and a gripping finish was on the cards. In the dying minutes of the game Chauvet willed himself to his second try to finish the visitors challange and take the final score to 32 ? 24.

Best for the Magpies ? Ben WEIR, Bart MASTERS, Shannon GALLANT and Chris YOUNG.

Scorers for the Magpies - Ben WEIR 2 tries, Robert CHAUVET 2 tries, Kerry SMITH 1 try, Warren WILLIAMS 1 try and 4 goals.

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 11.20am.