It might be early in the season of the Ron Massey Cup but plenty has happened after just three rounds of the competition.
The Wentworth Magpies, Asquith Magpies, Mounties and Auburn Warriors remain undefeated and sit on top of the competition ladder after a fine opening to the year.
Asquith, in particular, have been impressive in their unbeaten start despite trailing in contests. Head coach Simon Clarke puts their fast start down to their improved patience.
“We haven’t started games well but our second halves have been good. A couple of years ago we wouldn’t have been in that mindset but in a stronger competition you have to stay patient,” Clarke said.
“The last two games we have been down at halftime but we came back at them in the second half which is a lot to do with our experience.”
It’s having that mental fortitude to deal with adversity that creates champions and it’s something that Clarke knows is essential for success in the Ron Massey Cup.
“It’s definitely something we talk about,” Clarke said. “It’s something I try to instil in the boys that no matter what the score is we know we can always come back. We’ve got plenty of points in us, we just need to be patient.”
While Asquith have exploded out of the blocks, they don’t have to look too far back to know they face stiff competition.
“It’s a very even competition,” Clarke said. “It’s just whoever turns up on the day. Anyone can beat anyone on their day.”
Clarke names Mounties, Wentworthville, Auburn, Windsor and Cabramatta as the biggest contenders for the Ron Massey Cup.
“In saying that I think Concord Burwood who we beat will also improve towards the middle of the season as they gain some match fitness,” Clarke said. “They’re a big side that’s very hard to handle once they get a roll on.”
With such strong opposition, Clarke is thrilled with his side’s start to the season, particularly as they don’t have their first home game until Saturday 2 May against Wentworthville.
However, as the story goes, competitions aren’t won in March as teams slowly build for the Finals in September. Clarke knows that better than anyone after Asquith were knocked out 40-12 by The Entrance Tigers in the Preliminary Final last year.
“The goal has been to make the top four,” Clarke said. “Once you get a top-four finish, anything can happen from there. I want to go top four and improve from last year’s result.”
In this week’s matches Windsor face Kingsgrove, Auburn meet Blacktown, Western Suburbs clash with Asquith, Concord Burwood challenge Mounties and Wentworthville battle Cabramatta.
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