Coach Brandon Costin missed the game against Woolgoolga due to injury.The day could not have been more picture perfect for the clash against Woolgoolga Seahorses on Sunday with the sun shining and the conditions great for rugby league.
The Bellingen/Dorrigo Magpies went into the match full of confidence after two successive wins the previous two weeks and needing to win this game to stay in 3rd position on the ladder. After being beaten comprehensively the first time these two sides met in the first round up at Woolgoolga, the Magpies had something to prove not only to the Seahorses but to the rest of the competition. With the final score finishing 28 – 20 in favour of the Magpies it was there for all the local supporters to see that we have a side that will be competing in the final series if everything goes to plan with Coach Brandon Costin. The Magpies showed great commitment in defence and never let the very good attacking Seahorses into the game and shut down there outside backs when needed.
With veteran Matt Donovan leading the Magpies around the park, you could sense from the get go the players were determined to reverse the score line from the last time these two sides met, and with Anthony Donovan and Coach Costin on the sidelines due to injury it was going to be a big ask. With this in mind every player that played on Sunday contributed to this great win and Coach Costin stated after the match that it was very hard to work out his 3, 2 & 1 points as it was a great team effort. The forwards were lead by “The Valley of Love” housemates Callan “Bulldozer” Tapine” & Tamati “Einstein” Smith who laid the platform with their go forward. The human javelin Darren Byrnes was awesome in defence with some very big tackles that rattled the Seahorses and John Love – Henry was again at his damaging best and very hard to handle when he had the ball. A player that must be mentioned is Peter Glyde who is playing some outstanding footy and is in career best form at present.
Leading 18 – 10 and in control of the game the Magpies looked set for victory until the Seahorses started to play like they had nothing to lose and scored two consecutive tries to take the lead 20 – 18 and the Magpies under the pump. Off the kick off the Seahorses tried to catch the ball over the dead ball line but it was judged to be taken over by the Seahorses player by the referee and a drop out was awarded. The Magpies went back to their structure and orchestrated a very good try to the form player in the side Wade Davis who has been exceptional since coming into the 1st grade side and the score 22 – 18. With time ticking away and the game still in the balance the Magpies marched up the field off the back of some great runs from Ryan O’Connor and Callan Tapine that lead Jerry “Master” Key to power his way over to put the final nail in the coffin and the Magpies winning 28 – 20. You could see the jubilation from all the players as they run from everywhere to get into the celebrations behind the post. The experience of Matt Donovan settled the players down and he took them into a group circle to discuss the win and to focus on coming games that the Magpies need to win to keep their spot on the table.
The points for the day were awarded to Wade Davis – 3 as stated has been the form player of the side and has added a new dimension to the Magpies attack and his defence is great, Luke Beaumont – 2 who again showed what a class player this young man is as he filled the dummy half role and directed the players around the park & Peter Glyde – 1 who has benefitted from Coach Costin instilling the confidence in him and starting the games. Glydey is like a good bottle of red, getting better with age. Corey Sinclair also must get a mention as this guy has a heart of Phar Lap and does not let his size hinder him and makes tackles after tackles every week.
In Reserve Grade the Magpies went down 32 -20 against the table topping Seahorses who boast a side that could compete each week in the 1st grade competition. The Magpies demonstrated what a great spirit is in the club with a nonstop effort that had them pushing the Seahorses all day to the final siren. With the 1st grade side in contention to make the finals it is great to see the numbers in Reserve grade at the games as there could be players required to play if injuries affect the 1st grade side. The experience these young players will get from this year is fantastic and will set their rugby league careers up for the future and the way they are handling themselves on the field is a credit to each of them.
Players of the day went to Jake Mears – 3 who has stepped up and started to demonstrate what a quality player he will be if he commits himself to rugby league. Jake has the markings of a future first grade half back for the Magpies if he continues to learn and wants it bad enough. Paul “Treadmill” Sheather – 2 who again displayed what an asset he is to the side with his experience. It must be stated that the name change from Big Dog to Treadmill is due to the intercept the Big Dog took and headed off down field with 75 meters to run. The pace Big Dog showed was like he was on the treadmill at the gym and cruising at level 5 but his knees were that high he ended up knocking himself out as they hit him in the chin. He also pulled a muscle in his neck as it nearly fell off as he was looking for support as soon as he got the ball. Ian “One More Year” Boutell – 1 and it must be mentioned that these two players getting points at the same time is due to the efforts they are putting in at the Ebor High Performance Training Facility. Mrs Boutell was so excited on Sunday as it was the first time in Izzy’s 42 years he has shown anger in a rugby league match. Apparently Izzy got mad at the ball boy as he did not give him the ball.
The Ebor High Performance Training Facility is in high demand as Big Dog has been invited down to Newcastle to help set one up for the Knights and will be away for the next 2 weeks. They are amazed that Big Dog can eat like he does and played rugby league like he does. It will be great to see the Knights benefit from the input from an athlete like Big Dog. Good Luck Mate.
Next week the Magpies travel to Orara Valley to take on the Axemen on Sunday and hopefully our great supporter base will make the trek to help the Magpies to victory. Go the Mighty Magpies 2012.
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