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Photo courtesy of Daily Liberal

Forbes Magpies will look to continue their impressive season after securing a place in the 2022 NSWRL Presidents Cup following their victory in the Peter McDonald Premiership.

Forbes (main photo above courtesy of The Daily Liberal) defeated Dubbo CYMS in the Grand Final 28-16 last Sunday after putting in an outstanding display to knock off the Group 11 Minor Premiers.

The Magpies players and supporters have spent the week celebrating their premiership triumph, but coach Cameron Greenhalgh said the team’s focus this week has turned to their preparations for the Presidents Cup Semi-final.

“We went pretty hard for a couple of days, the town was awesome, they embraced us when we returned,” he said.

“It’ll be back to training next week, we only found out a few days ago where and when we are playing.

“We’ve got a few boys that have booked in holidays and having weddings, and we also have a few club events on, so we’ll start next week.”

The Presidents Cup features the premiers of the Peter McDonald Premiership, Denton Engineering Cup, Mojo Homes Illawarra Cup and Ron Massey Cup in a knockout tournament to determine the champion semi-professional Rugby League team in NSW.

The goal at the beginning of the year for Forbes was winning the inaugural Peter McDonald Premiership, and now they’ve ticked that off, they know there’s an opportunity to showcase their talents to a larger audience.

“It’s a massive achievement to win the first combined Peter McDonald Premiership, that was the goal and for a small country town to compete in a cup like this is huge,” Greenhalgh said.

The Magpies will be the first team from the region to represent the Western Conference in the Presidents Cup after the 2021 tournament was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Forbes will go up against Maitland Pickers after they were comprehensive winners of the Denton Engineering Cup, with the winner to progress to the Presidents Cup Final at CommBank Stadium on Sunday 25 September.

With the Semi-final being played in Parkes, it will be somewhat of a home game for the Magpies. Captain Nick Greenhalgh believes the team will have the support of not only the Forbes faithful but also their Group 11 rivals.

“It will be a pretty big advantage,” he said.

“Maitland and their supporters will have to travel quite far, and I think there’s a few Group 11 teams playing on the day, so I’m sure there will be a lot of support behind us from the Group 11 fans.”

As an avid footy fan, Greenhalgh is familiar with the Magpies Semi-final opponents and knows they will have a tough task on their hands.

“I’m a footy fanatic, so I keep track of all the competitions,” he said.

“I know a few boys in the Newcastle comp, Maitland are a red-hot side, they’ll be a really tough challenge, but we’re looking forward to it.”

Forbes were the underdogs heading into the Peter McDonald Premiership Grand Final against Dubbo CYMS, and that will be the case again in the Presidents Cup.

This is nothing new to the Magpies and Greenhalgh believes that when people doubt Forbes it only makes them a stronger team.

“Forbes is just a little town with not many people, we thrive under the underdog tag, it fires the boys up, but Maitland will be quality opponents, we can’t wait for the opportunity.”

If Forbes manage to get past Maitland, then the Final at CommBank Stadium awaits them, where they will face the winner of Collegians Collie Dogs or Hills Bulls.

The Semi-final takes place on Saturday 17 September at Jock Colley Field, Parkes, with kick-off at 3pm.

Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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