The Western Suburbs Magpies won the only Sydney Shield match played last weekend when Sydney’s ‘big wet’ ruined the scheduled round of matches.
A last-minute Roman Ioelu field goal saw the Magpies sneak a 17-16 win over the Auburn Warriors at Lidcombe Oval last Saturday in the sole match that was played.
Both sides took nearly the whole first half to come to terms with the wild, wet and windy conditions that prevailed with a bucketload of dropped ball marring the first 40 minutes.
Warriors second-rower Jad Mahmood muscled his way over from close range to give the home side a 6-nil lead with Zack Greene’s conversion in the 33rd minute.
Wests replied with a similar try to Magpies opposite number Noa Tuitavuki just before half-time for Ioelu to convert to level scores at six apiece at the break.
Magpies winger Jack Pearce gave Wests the lead for the first time when he scored in the corner to make it 10-6, nine minutes into the second half.
The lead was extended further when Magpies SG Ball half Hosea Leuea marked his senior debut for the club with a superb stepping try in the conditions for a 16-6 lead with Ioelu’s conversion.
The Warriors then came back with two tries of their own inside the last 12 minutes to set up a grandstand finish.
First, Solomone Araura juggled the wet ball before scoring to bring the score back to 16-12 with Green’s conversion.
Then Warriors winger Antonio Hala levelled scores at 16-all when he took a long floating pass out wide to score in the corner with five minutes left. Green missed the conversion in the gale force winds to set up the thrilling finish.
Wests were able to steady for long enough for Ioelu to slot his match-winning field goal inside the last 60 seconds for the win which consolidated their place in the Shield’s top eight.
The only other result for the weekend was when Asquith forfeited their match to Guildford last Thursday – just on 72 hours before the match was set down for decision.
After naming a side during the week, an horrendous injury toll ensured that the Magpies had to forfeit a match for the first time in their two stints in NSWRL senior competitions going back to 2006.
To add insult to injury, this forfeit could not be overturned when the ‘big wet’ came as it was lodged with the League before the round was due to commence.
Asquith are hoping to have sufficient numbers to put out a team against Blacktown Workers in their next scheduled match at Laybutt Fields, Blacktown next Saturday.
The remaining five matches last weekend were all postponed thanks to the deluge that drenched Sydney last weekend.
Two of those matches will be played this weekend on the first of the scheduled spare weekends for such postponed games.
First, heavyweights Mounties and Wentworthville will try again to resume their long-standing rivalry at Aubrey Keech Reserve on Saturday in a preview for another possible clash for higher stakes in September.
Then Hills District Bulls and Windsor do battle in their postponed game at Crestwood Reserve on Sunday.
The other three washed-out games – Cabramatta v Peninsula Seagulls, East Campbelltown v Belrose and Blacktown Workers v St Marys – will all be played on the other spare weekend of 23/24 July.
Triple H FM have a feast of footy programs this Queen’s Birthday long weekend.
Firstly, there is live coverage of the Ron Massey Cup match between the Asquith Magpies and the Guildford Owls on Friday Night at Storey Park from 8pm.
Then talk show “View From The Hill” tackles all League issues on Saturday at midday.
The weekend finishes with live coverage of the Intrust Super Premiership NSW clash between the North Sydney Bears and Mounties on Sunday from North Sydney Oval at 3pm.
All of the weekend action can be heard on 100.1FM, via web streaming at www.triplehfm.com.au, and via the TuneIn app.