Season Summary: Wentworthville endured a disappointing season in terms of results, finishing in last position with six wins and 16 losses. They were poor defensively, conceding over 28 points a game, with a for-and-against record of -225. A switch of coaches from Brett Cook to Steve Hales occurred mid-season, and Hales, while disappointed with the results, was happy to oversee the turnover of players from VB NSW Cup to NRL level.
Coach Steve Hales says: “For us, finishing at the bottom of the ladder wasn’t great. But seeing the likes of Daniel Alvaro, Bureta Faraimo, Vai Toutai and a lot of the boys that were playing NSW Cup at the start of the year move up to NRL was really pleasing from a club perspective. I was disappointed with the way we finished the year. Obviously first grade were hampered with injuries and that had a flow-on effect for us, so on the table we’re definitely disappointed to finish where we were, but seeing the emergence of players is a real positive.”
Best Game: A game that stood out for Hales was the Round 19 clash against the red-hot North Sydney Bears, where an understrength Magpies’ lineup won 27-20. Halfback Beau Henry scored three tries before the 25-minute mark to blow the Bears away early, against a side that possessed the likes of Paul Carter, Kyle Turner and Cody Walker.
Worst Game: The Magpies saved their worst until the last three rounds. The Wyong Roos on two occasions, plus the Manly Sea Eagles handed them an accumulative score of 154-44, which was an devastating way to end a disappointing season.
Turning Point: There was no definitive turning point for the Magpies, as they struggled throughout the season. They failed to record consecutive victories at any point, indicating a great issue of inconsistency.
Standout Performers: Daniel Alvaro was Hales’ pick for the best player. “He’s got a wonderful attitude,” said Hales. “First to training and last to leave. He deserves everything he gets in the game and it was really pleasing to see the emergence of him in the NRL in the last few rounds. His first game he played three minutes and he played almost 50 in his last game so it just shows the faith that [Parramatta Eels coach Brad Arthur] had in him to be able to play there.”
Destined for the NRL: Daniel Alvaro is the obvious choice for a player who is set to see more game time in first grade. He already has seven NRL appearances, but will almost certainly add to that in 2016. Despite missing those seven games due to NRL duties, Alvaro amassed 183 runs and 594 tackles for the VB NSW Cup season, which ranked in the top 10 for each respective statistic.
Future Focus: There is only one way up for a team that finishes in last position, especially a side that made the preliminary finals in 2014. With a full motivated pre-season, Wnety should vastly improve and earn a better finish up the table.
As with any team, they will also need luck with injuries – something they did not have in 2015.
Available Season Reviews: