Club: Wentworthville Magpies
Record: 15-9 (+59)
Players Used in 2014: 55
Season Highlight: Their improbable round 23 win over the Bulldogs where they trailed for the entire match until a final second try to Justin Hunt handed them a 22-19 victory
Season Lowlight: A 30-6 loss at the hands of the Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium in round 18 when they were never in the contest from the outset
Summary: The Wentworthville Magpies secured a top four finish for the second time in the past three seasons and also advanced to their first preliminary final in some six seasons.
The Magpies rebounded from a week one finals loss to the Knights to see off the Roos in week two before eventually bowing out to the eventual Premiers in Penrith in the Preliminary Final.
Much like Mounties, Wenty hit the ground running early on winning their first three and nine of their first eleven overall before cooling off mid-season. Four losses in a row at one point threatened to see them relinquish their stranglehold on a top four finish but three wins in the last month saw them hold on.
There were a number of good contributors for Wenty with Lorenzo Ma’afu and Daniel Alvaro leading the way up front all season long and Luke Kelly and Bureta Faraimo played pivotal roles in the Magpies backline. Faraimo in particular experienced a breakout year with the USA Tomahawk scoring 19 tries in 21 appearances as well as making his first grade debut for Parramatta late in the year.
Unfortunately for Wenty they probably didn’t see the best of Justin Hunt in 2014. Hunt missed a month or so in the middle of the year due to injury. One felt at the start of the year that if Wenty were to reach any great heights this season, it would be off the back of Hunt having a stellar 2014, and while he showed flashes of brilliance at times, it was probably not a season that would have met his own very high standards. Interestingly enough though, now with the departure of Jarryd Hayne, perhaps Justin will be afforded more opportunities in the top grade in 2015 which would be a wonderful thing for this prodigiously talented player.
Others such as Ben Jones, Isaac Maliota, Danny Howard and Api Pewhairangi also had consistent seasons for the Magpies while Ryan Matterson, who only played eight games for Wentworthville, looks a real talent and a player for Eels fans to get excited about moving forward.
In addition to a top four finish in the VB NSW Cup, Wentworthville also managed to win the Minor Premiership in the Ron Massey Cup as well as finishing second in the Sydney Shield, so from a holistic club point of view, it was certainly a good year for them.
Conclusion: A really good season by most measures, particularly when you consider they had to turnover so many personnel throughout.