by Peter (Parra) Montgomery
Hay Magpies coach Rene Woods was furious at his team after he witnessed a golden opportunity to snare its first victory of the season slip away at Coleambally Sportsground on Sunday.
The DPC Roosters won the match 25-18 after the Magpies had led 8-7 at the half-time break.
“That was sh*t”, coach Woods said after the game, adding ‘and you can write that’.
“This team has to learn to rid itself of the old Group 17 mentality, and toughen-up a bit.
“We squandered too many scoring opportunities to expect to win the game and fair dinkum, three of the four tries we had scored against us were soft and should have been prevented.
“Until we toughen up mentally, we will always be behind the ‘eight ball’ in Group 20”, Woods said.
The Magpies lost attacking spark Jermaine Dixon with a hamstring tear after just ten minutes play, and he could be in doubt for next weeks home match against Griffith Black and Whites on the Park Oval.
The loss of Dixon forced a reshuffle with Scott Webb and Damian Kennedy alternating between wing and fullback.
Webb played his best game for the Club and showed that he is a pretty good player.
He ran the ball with plenty of vigour, and he saved a couple of tries with strong defence.
He has slowly been finding his feet with the Magpies, and with the confidence he takes out of Sunday’s match, will be a handy for the team.
Both teams had tries disallowed during the game. Roosters coach Andrew Herbert was over under the sticks, but the try was disallowed on a touch judge ruling that the last pass was forward.
The Magpies, leading 8-6 a minute out from the half time break, looked to have scored a fantastic try, with Shayne Kennedy gathering a chip kick by Jamie Woods, to off load a great pass to hooker Mitchell Rosser backing up, and he raced 30 metres to ‘score’.
However, referee Palmer, on the advice of his touch judge, disallowed the try, ruling Kennedy had been in front of Woods at the kick.
The Roosters were awarded a penalty, and it four tackle took the ball deep into Magpie territory and Josh Curphey took a point with a neat field goal right on the half time siren.
Hay had led 4-0 early with Shayne Kennedy producing a dazzling run to cross in a handy position.
Not long after, Jono Wesele, playing in the centres, had too much power for the Magpie defence and burst through three tackle to score in a handy position for Curphey to convert, and grab the lead 6-4.
The Magpies struck back with Damian Kennedy crossing in the corner after Woods, Kennedy (Shayne) and centre Simon Parr had combined to give him a clear run.
Half time was taken with Hay leading 8-7.
On resumption, a simple error from the restart, and the ball bounced over the deadball line giving the Point the opportunity to have first use of the ball in the second half.
The Magpie defence was under heavy pressure against a freshened Point combination, with Luke Gras, Herbert and Michael Vitucci hammering away at the line.
Nippy half back James Williams produced a piece of magic close to the line – electing to put a grubber kick behind the Hay defence and simply putting his hand on the ball for an easy try. Again, Curphey added the extras for Point to lead 13-8.
The Magpies appeared rattled and hard running by Wesele and the Charles boys, Kodie and Kyle, had the Hay defence at sixes and sevens.
The Point looked a chance to extend the lead, but, against the run of play, speedy winger Knoxy Sauniyaka plucked an intercept and raced 80 metres to score under the sticks.
Woods landed his only goal of the afternoon to put his team ahead 14-13.
Simon Parr and Craig Millan were putting together some strong runs, and the combination of Mitch Rosser and Jamie Woods kept the Magpies in the game, with Rosser, with well directed passing giving Woods plenty of time to produce a long kicking game.
The Magpies lost Harley Hey with a leg injury deep into the second half, giving Patrick Jubb the opportunity in first grade – and he looked OK too.
Pat tackles very well, and he has the speed to go on with a break as they are presented.
The Point stretched the lead out to 19-14 with youthful winger Blade Grace crossing in the corner, and again Curphey added the extras.
The lead blew out more with lightweight hooker Ronnie Bamblett scooting over after the Hay defence went to sleep, and the Curphey extras took the score out to 25-14.
Coming into the last ten minutes, the Magpies gave themselves a chance with hard working second rower Jason Bunyan working off good lead up work by Parr and Millan to latch onto a pass, put a deft kick in and beat the defence to the ball and score the best try of the game.
Again Woods was astray with the conversion attempt, the ball just passing under the sticks as he appeared to stub his toe in kicking.
BEST FOR HAY – Scott Webb, Simon Parr, Shayne Kennedy, Craig Millan, Tuck McLean
BEST FOR DPC – Josh Curphey, Jono Wesele, Andrew Herbert, James Williams
DARLINGTON POINT COLEAMBALLY ROOSTERS 25 (Jono Wesele, James Williams, Ronald Bamblett, Blade Grace tries, Josh Curphey 4 goals, field goal) defeated HAY MAGPIES 18 (Shayne Kennedy, Damian Kennedy, Knoxy Sauniyaka, Jason Bunyan tries. Jamie Woods 1 goal)
RESERVES SNATCH DRAMATIC DRAW
The Magpies reserves team showed plenty of passion to snatch a 24 all draw with the DPC Roosters, scoring off the last play of the day, and booting a conversion after the siren to share the points.
It was a match full of drama, and excellent play from two sides evenly match.
The Magpies blooded some of its younger stars with Scott Matthews and Ziggy Hey getting a run from the bench, and big Francis Young being eased into the game during its course.
Damian Kennedy has been a relevation as coach of this team. He is leading from the front and getting good value from the veterans Danny Byrnes and Dave Steedman, while the brilliant young halves – Patty Miller and Lloyd Schulz must be knocking very loudly on the door to first grade selection.
Miller and Schultz were at their scheming best, each scoring a brilliant try to give the team its chance.
Miller swooped on a Schulz kicked to score the opening try, and Schulz, late in the game posted his to keep the Magpies in with a chance.
They go together like Batman and Robin and anticipate each move. A real dynamic duo
They are fearless in running the ball and also putting their bodies on the line in defence.
If you could bottle their spirit and courage, you would be on a winner.
Patrick Jubb again impressed, and both Matt Dowse and 'Bunt' Duggan made their presence felt.
Bunt scored a good try after Dowse had made a long run, after being put into the clear by Schulz. A quick play the ball and onto Miller, who found Duggan on his outside and he cleared away for the try.
Danny Byrnes, in his 53rd year, believe it or not, is getting better with age. He again put his body on the line and had a couple of huge hits in the game – one in particular where he came off second best, bouncing off a huge DPC forward, from memory it was Shawn Gras. Spectacular
With the Point leading 24-12 late in the game, and looking well in control, the Magpies fought back with the Schultz try, and right on full time Conrad McGinty plunged over to give Ryan Gash the chance to snatch a draw.
Gash has not missed a goal this season, and made no mistake in adding the extras to give the team a well-earned point.
Good game, most enjoyable..
BEST FOR HAY – Lloyd Schulz, Patty Miller, Damien Kennedy, Danny Byrnes, Pat Jubb.
BEST FOR DPC- Ben Grace, Shawn Gras, Alex Brown, Ben Curphey
HAY MAGPIES 24 (Lloyd Schulz, Brenton Duggan, Pat Miller, Conrad McGinty tries Ryan Gash 4 goals) drew with DPC ROOSTERS 24 (Matt de Mamiel, Aaron Hopwood, Dillon Barter, Ben Grace, Alex Brown tries Ben Curphey 2 goals.
Neil-John Nisbet ‘new generation’ of LeagueTag players did well to shut the DPC Roosters out 24-0.
The Magpies team continues to unearth plenty of good players, and co-coaches Neil John and Emily Nelson concentrate at training on the girls fitness, both physically and mentally, as well as making sure the girls ‘skills’ are well honed in what the game is all about.
The team is coming along nicely, and each week different players are taking a key role in the direction the side is heading.
The skills of the Pless girls – Daisee and Lucy – are beginning to blossom.
Lucy was held back by the coaches last season, and let off the tight ‘rein’ at the latter part of the season and she is showing the value of being groomed slowly.
Slight in stature, she has an alert LeagueTag brain, and when she presses the go button, she is hard to stop.
Daisee has come along steadily. She had a terrific game again on Sunday, matching Lucy in the try scoring stakes.
The team has a potential “superstar” in Jodie Hicks. In her first season of Group LeagueTag she is displaying all the athletic skills that have won her acclaim as an outstanding sports star of the Hay community.
She scored a great try on Sunday – kicking and chasing a rolling ball and diving full stretch to claim the four points before the ball rolled over the dead ball line.
Add her fantastic goal kicking skills into the bargain, and NJN and Emily Nelson have ‘one ‘helluva’ player’ in their squad.
The star of the win on Sunday, however, was Emily Payne. She carved the Roosters up, taking advantage of great lead up work by ‘oldies’ like Jesse Jackson and Megan Pearson.
The Gee-Harris girls, Keisha and Nadine are blessed with pace, while Luci Lugsdin Fiona Cooper and Ellie Darlow give the team a good mix.
Luci Lugsdin wasn’t amongst the try-scorers on Sunday – her first ‘blank’ of the year. She is the ‘Billy Slater’ of the side – capable of splitting the defence of any side.
Kristen Nisbet played her first game of the year, and scored a good try.
Best for Hay – Emily Payne, Lucy Pless, Jesse Jackson, Daisee Pless.
HAY MAGPIES 24 (Kristen Nisbet, Daisee Pless, Lucy Pless, Emily Payne, Jodie Hicks tries, Hicks two goals) defeated DPC Roosters 0.
The Magpies Under 18 team has been hit with a huge injury toll with at least seven players from the already 'numbers' challenged team unavailable to play on Sunday.
It meant that the Magpies Club had to 'forfeit' the match against the DPC Roosters, something that it was loathe to do, considering the close bonds that exist between the two Clubs.
It is the first time the Magpies Club has not been able to fulfil its committments and the Club has apologised to both the DPC Rugby League Club and Group 20.
Magpies Vice President, Bert Matthews, said the Club had no alternative other than conceding the match.
"We played the sixteens - with just one on the bench. Most of the players in the Under 18 team play with the Hay Lions Football Club on Saturday in the Golden Rivers League, with several going on in juniors (U17) and doubling up into reserve grade. It is unsustainable for the kids to be expected to back up the next day.
"Travelling from Hay to where-ever to play sport is in itself a chore, and the work load being put on these kids on weekends is probably a reason they are choosing not to participate.
"Hopefully, we will have boys back for next week, but we will have to monitor the situation to see if we have enough to carry on, or whether we will have to withdraw the team completely to save any unnecessary 'hassles' with other Clubs in the Group.
The DPC Roosters scored a 30-6 win over the Magpies in the Under 16 match.
The Magpies try was scored by centre Riley Byrnes and converted by Brad Aylett.
Coach Dean Whitehead was glowing in his praise of the efforts of his side against one of the competition hot shots.
Caine Cotter, at full back continues to impress, and prop Tim Hanna, lock Scott Matthews and halves Aylett and Liam Potter were strong again.
DPC ROOSTERS 30 defeated HAY MAGPIES 6 (Riley Byrnes try, Brad Aylett goal)
Last Modified on 07/05/2012 09:24