Sunday was a crucial game for both the Bellingen/Dorrigo Magpies and the Coffs Harbour Comets as the Magpies needed to win to stay in touch with the leaders on the table and the Comets needing to win to get back into the top 5. Both teams started the game with caution and you could see both teams were desperate to win with a very basic game plan and a no mistake attitude. The Magpies were first to score with Jerry “ Master” Key barging over to have the Magpies in front 6 – 0. Both teams were completing their sets and trying to gain the advantage with field position and the game was an arm wrestle from two sides both needing the much needed two points.
When Jerry “Master” Key crashed over for his second try the Magpies looked in command and the local home town crowd were getting excited as another win was destined for the Magpies, but you cannot look to far forward in 80 minutes of rugby league as anything can happen. With the Magpies leading 12 – 6 at the half time break you could sense they were hanging on and the Comets were playing a style of footy that they would not die wondering. When the players returned to the field in the 2nd half the Comets came out with all guns blazing and ripped into the Magpie forwards laying a great platform for their classy outside backs to take advantage of the go forward. The Comets were first to score in the 2nd half and the Magpies new they were in for a tough 40 minutes as the big Comets pack kept coming in numbers repeatedly and the crowd could see the Magpies tiring like a heavyweight boxer in the last 2 rounds of a title fight.
With the Comets in control of the game the Magpies did not score a point in the 2nd half and it made it a little more difficult when centre Daniel Sangster was sent to the sin bin for dissent against the referee. Again the Comets played some smart rugby league and sent their attack down the left hand side of the field where Sangster was defending before his departure and scored 2 tries in the time he was off the field. Now with the Magpies on the back foot the Comets nailed the coffin closed and played some entertaining football to finish the job on the Magpies and come away victorious 32 – 12. It was a disappointing afternoon for the Magpies as the week early lost to last placed Orara and needed to win to get the 2 lost points from that match and now sees the Magpies drop to 5th on the table with three games remaining. The positive fact is the Magpies have a bye in the last round and with two tough games against Nambucca and Port Macquarie in consecutive weeks may need the 2 points to gain 5th spot on the ladder. Coach Costin stated in the after match presentation at the Diggers Tavern that he is taking all responsibility and is trying everything to get the Magpies season back on track.
Best players for the Magpies were non other then Jerry “ Master” Key who scored the 2 tries for the Magpies and was a threat to the Comets defence every time he touched the ball. Luke Beaumont who has not played a bad game this year since starting at fullback, which is outstanding for a player of his age be so consistent. Corey “Crazy Pony” Sinclair who also has been the most consistent player week in week out for the Magpies. For a player of his size to do what he does in defence is amazing and he has the respect not only from his team mates but also opposition sides which is a credit to Corey.
Reserve Grade finished again on the wrong side of the scoreboard 20 – 14 but it wasn’t through lack of effort it was due to some critical errors in try scoring opportunities. The Magpies played some tough hard football and again were in the game until the end but it wasn’t meant to be as time ran out for the Magpies when they were marching up the field in the latter stages of the 2nd half. All the players that played deserve a mention as they all played their hearts out and gave it their all but again did not come away with a win. The time will come when the bounce of the ball turns for the Magpies and they will put the cleaners through a side when the passes stick.
Best players for the Magpies were Wade Davis who is the best player on the field every time he plays reserve grade and lead the side around brilliantly. Wade scored a great solo try adjacent to the posts and had the Comets defenders worried every time he handled the ball. Jake Mears who is getting better and better every game and for a player who was only allowed to play when he turned 16 & 9 months not long ago is showing what a great player he will be in years to come. Jake has the potential to be the starting number 7 for the Magpies in 1st Grade in 2013 if he wants it. Gus “Carpet” Byrne was another young player to shine on the weekend and he too like Corey Sinclair amazes the crowd with his toughness and durability for a bloke so small. Gus will be pushing for 1st grade selection in 2013 also.
Izzy “One More Year” Boutell made the trek down the mountain without his mate Paul “Big Dog” Sheather and was seen cuddling all his team mates in the sheds and thanked them all for the well wishes he received during his time with the pregnant trout and the tough period he had come thru the previous week. Izzy was overheard telling team mates he doesn’t like play games away as the crowds don’t appreciate him like the Bello crowd. I had a chance to catch up with Izzy at the Tavern after the game and this is what he had to say. Josh – Great game Izzy you played well, Izzy – When don’t I play well, if they all played like I do we would be winning the comp. JW – I thought you guys could of won that. IB – Yeah if we had my so called mate Big Dog turn up every now and again we might have. JW – Have you 2 had a fall out…? IB – Mate he is all for himself and things won’t be the same when he gets back from Newcastle as he left me out of the whole thing. JW – I thought he was down there with Coach Bennett helping them set up the High Performance unit? IB – Mate I don’t want to talk about it, he rorted me big time. JW – Mate surely you are not that angry with him..? IB – Beat it you must be on his side, I am out of here. I made Big Dog what he is today and he left me out of all this. I will see you next home game. JW – What about the Nambucca game next week…? IB – I don’t play away games anymore, I don’t get the love I do when playing at home, so see you later.
Big dramas up at the Ebor High Performance Unit by the sounds of it and it will be interesting to see when Big Dog returns to his beloved trout.
This weekend (Sunday) the Magpies take on the table topping Nambucca Roosters who will be out to rectify last week’s loss to Sawtell and maintain their advantage at the top of the table. The Magpie players would love to see as many local supporters at the ground to help the keep their position on the ladder and hopefully get the much needed 2 points to stay in the hunt for the finals.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.