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Aim to make Licensed Clubs 'Magic Round' an annual event

The NSWRL will look to hold a ‘Magic Round’ every year for Licensed Clubs Round, brought to you by CABE, following the success of this year’s event which saw nine games of Rugby League held across two days at St Marys Leagues Stadium.

The action finished today with the Grand Final rematch in the Leagues Clubs Australia Ron Massey Cup match between Premiers St Marys Saints and Wentworthville Magpies. In a game that lived up to the hype, the Magpies rallied from an early deficit to take a 28-10 lead before Saints roared home to snatch the game 34-28 with former NRL winger Christian Crichton grabbing a hat-trick.

Licensed Clubs in NSW contributed $100 million to the community and $60 million to Junior Rugby League Clubs across the state in 2023 and have continued to support the game in 2024 through initiatives, including registration and insurance subsidies and gear rebates, with the NSW Government’s Active Kids vouchers now means-tested.

The NSWRL elected to acknowledge the valuable contribution of Licensed Clubs in NSW with an inaugural 'Magic Round' format at St Marys Leagues Stadium with all five games of Sydney Shield played on Saturday, followed by all four Leagues Clubs Australia Ron Massey Cup games on Sunday.

NSWRL Head of Competitions Yvette Downey said plans were now underway to make the 'Magic Round' concept a permanent fixture on the NSWRL calendar as it was a fitting way to acknowledge Licensed Clubs Round, which is now into its third year.

“The past two days have been amazing and a wonderful celebration of Rugby League,” Downey said.

“The support that Licensed Clubs provides assists Rugby League from grassroots right through to the elite level, and the competitions that were showcased this weekend wouldn’t exist to the level they do without it.

“The St Marys facility is first-class, and I also thank the club for supporting the event.

“The ‘Magic Round’ concept to acknowledge Licensed Clubs Round is here to stay and our plan now will be to make it bigger and better every year.”

There was also a special presentation today from NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden to long-serving St Marys Rugby League club President Warren Smith, who announced his retirement last month after 38 years of service.

“I’ve been living in the St Marys area now for over 50 years and the last 35 I’ve been the President of the Board of Directors – loved every minute of it,” Smith said.

“I played Rugby League at school, and I just wanted to stay involved anyway I could.”

The opening match today featured Penrith Brothers against Glebe Dirty Reds, whose line-up included former NRL Sydney Roosters player Kane Evans. Glebe surged to a 30-0 half-time lead with back-rower Jonah Ngaronoa bagging a double, to set up a 40-14 win.

The second match featured Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs against Mounties in a see-sawing contest that went down to the wire. Mounties rallied from a 22-10 deficit early in the second half to score four unanswered tries and run away with the win 34-22, with former Bulldogs NRL player Brad Abbey engineering the result.

The third match was also a nail-biter between Ryde-Eastwood Hawks and Hills Bulls. The Bulls looked like they had secured the match when they took a 30-16 lead early in the second half but the Hawks rallied and halfback Noah Ryan sealed the win 31-20 when he landed a field goal with less than two minutes to go.

The Sydney Shield matches on Saturday saw Brothers Penrith score a late try to seal a 28-22 win over Cabramatta Two Blues, Mounties with an emphatic 66-0 win over Moorebank Rams, Glebe Dirty Reds with a 32-24 win over Manly Leagues, St Marys Saints with a 41-12 over Wentworthville Magpies, and Ryde-Eastwood Hawks with a convincing 50-20 win over Hills Bulls.

Click here for all Leagues Clubs Australia Ron Massey Cup results

Click here for all Sydney Shield results

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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