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Fighting Wenty win over Roos is dedicated to club legend

March 2013

Wentworthville, New South Wales

by Jodie Newell

Each club in the VB NSW Cup has a unique attribute that makes them stand alone. The Jets at Henson, the North Sydney Bears and their classic home ground of North Sydney Oval. The Bulldogs at Belmore,  Wests Tigers at Leichhardt and Campbelltown.

Each club has its own characteristic traditions and core values.

Out in the heart of Sydney’s West lies the Wentworthville Magpies. The club has a proud history of solid engagement of the local community. It has produced a multitude of National Rugby League players and is connected to the Parramatta Eels. It appears to us, that the recurring theme with Wenty is a strong sense of community.

At Ringrose Park on Sunday, those values and traditions were clearly on display. Sadly during the week, club legend Wally Webster passed away. Mr Webster was an Order of Australia recipient. He helped create the Wenty Club. The hall at the ground is named after him, thanks in no small part to some 50 years of tireless club service.

As they say, the show must go and did in the form of the Wentworthville Magpies against competition newcomers in the Wyong Roos.

Before the start of the game, both clubs stood in the middle of the field during a minutes silence for Wally Webster. With the Australian flag at half mast, the Wenty Boys linked arms and with bowed heads, paid their respects.

With the formalities out of the way, it was Wyong who began the match well. Team captain and hooker Mitch Williams combined with Jay Florimo to threaten a shaky Wentworthville defence. With a strong southerly breeze favouring the Roos, Wyong kept up the attacking pressure.

Despite the adversity it was Wentworthville who would strike first agains the run of play, with the first try of the game via Jake Mullaney scoring in the far right corner of the Wyong line. To illustrate the strength of the breeze, full back Mullaney struggled to make the distance, his conversion kick forced back, dropping well short of the posts. 4-0 Magpies.

With the game intensity lifting, Wyong soon had the equaliser with Jay Florimo forcing a try. Brad Murray was unable to convert and the score was tied at 4-4.

The Roos were soon on the board again after Joel Patterson crashed over the try line. This time Brad Murray converted and Wyong held a 10-4 lead.

The Wenty Magpies would not be outdone by the newcomers, when Jon Pepa slipped through a Mitch Williams tackle to score a try. The breeze again took a hold of the conversion kick by Jake Mullaney. Roos held the lead at 10-8.

Wyong kept pressing the Wenty defence. Mitch Williams was playing an excellent game and executed a superb run deep in Magpies territory. Winger Arthur Brown took full of advantage of the great field position and scored. Murray’s conversion was no good, but Wyong’s lead held at 14-8.

Thats where the score ended. It was an excellent effort by the Wyong club. Some thought it would be an easy game for the home team, but to Wyong’s credit they had played a solid half of rugby league.

For Wentworthville, it wasn't a good half. Whilst they committed several self inflicted mistakes, praise had to be given to Wyong and the continual pressure they applied to the Wenty side.

With the second half underway, it was the Magpies who now had the aid of the strong breeze. They began well and soon had the first try of the half thanks to Jarome MacKenzie. This time Jake Mullaney converted and scores were tied at 14-14.

Wyong were not deterred by the breeze or the Wentworthville score. In one of the plays of the day. Allen Mulla Malau crafted a beautiful chip kick inside the try zone where Todd Wilson pounced. Murray made the conversion and again the Roos had the lead 20-14.

Brayden Williame was the next to score for Wenty with a bursting try. Jake Mullaney took the conversion and missed leaving the score at 20-18.

The Magpies were soon on the board again when Jake Mullaney scored his second try of the day. Skipper Api Pewhairangi made sure of the conversion and the lead increased to 24-20.

Wentworthville soon had a problem when Lorenzo Ma-afu was sent off for the rest of the match by referee Lawrence McDonnell for rough play. With one man down, the Magpies had to re-adjust their game-plan.

With one man down the Magpies were undeterred, when Brendan waters scored the easiest of tries, worming his way through a soft Wyong defence. Api Pewhairangi missed the conversion 28-20.

Wyong refused to give up and were soon back in the game thanks to a well marked ball by Allen Mulla Malau. Brad Murray could not counter the breeze with his conversion kick and the scored stood at 28-24.

Wyong had their chances to take the lead in the last minutes, but thanks to a hard working Wenworthville defence. They held out the determined Roos.

Magpie winger Semi Radradra ensured his team would take the points after scoring a try. Jake Mullaney converted and thats how the game finsihed at 34-24.

It was a fitting tribute by the Wentworthville side for Wally Webster. Both sides played a hard, well contested game of rugby league, underlining the class that is the VB NSW Cup competition.

Post-game Wenty coach Brett Cook told NMG Sports he made sure his players understood the significance of Wally Webster’s contribution to the club “With the passing of Wally, a lot of the guys that played today probably didn't know too much about him. We had a bit of a talk before the game about how he was important to the club. It was good to get a victory on a day like today”

Wyong were outstanding considering it was only their second game in the VB NSW Cup competition. The combination of Jay Florimo and Mitch Williams will definitely post plenty of points for the Roos in 2013.

In round 3 VB NSW Cup action, Wenty head to Belmore for a tough assignment against the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs, whilst Wyong host the Windsor Wolves on Sunday at Morry Breen Oval

Wentworthville full back Jake Mullaney under the gaze of the Wyong Roos defenders

image: 2013 NewellMediaGroup

Final score:  Wentworthville Magpies 26 defeated Wyong Roos 16

Tries Magpies: J Mullaney 2, J Pepa, J MacKenzie, B Williame, B Waters, S Radradra

Tries Roos: A Brown 2, T Wilson, J Florimo, J Patterson

Conversions Magpies:  J Mullaney 2, A Pewhairangi

Conversions Roos: B Murray 2

Referee: Lawrence McDonnell

Touch Judges :  Shane Smith   Jay Farlow

At Ringrose Park

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  1. BulletRingrose Park. A work in progress. New spectator stand underway, should be a top venue once completed. Great community feel at Wenty.

  1. BulletGreat to see John “Emu” Stephenson out at Ringrose Park, was told by the Brian at the gate, that “Emu” hasn't been feeling the best after taking a turn a few weeks ago. We were told he was somewhere at the ground. Low and behold, we caught up with a fighting fit Stephenson who was doing his usual after match work. Emu told us to make sure we got the message out “The Emu is not dead yet!”  Stay well John, the rugby league world needs you

  1. BulletWhat no Wenty Burgers??? Yes the Wenty Burger was NOT on sale at the canteen at Ringrose on Sunday. NSWRL media supremo Brad Preston was seen by several folks including Wenty clubman and Parramatta Eels Holden Cup manger Brett McKenna pleading with canteen staff about the whereabouts of the famous Wenty burger. We to lamented it’s absence. Whilst Henson Park, Belmore Sports Ground and North Sydney Oval are essential bucket list items. The Wenty burger is up there with them. One cannot say they have lived a full life without partaking of one.

  1. BulletThe observance of Wally Webster's passing. Wenty made sure it put on a day fitting for the acknowledgment of the club stalwart. Flags at the neighbouring Wenty Leagues club were at half mast, as to was the Australian flag at Ringrose Park. Full marks to the Wyong Roos team who joined the Magpies in the centre of the ground in an observance of one minute’s silence.

Former chairman of the Parramatta Eels Alan Overton was at the ground, as to were were many other Wenty club stalwarts.Wally would have been well pleased with the high standard of rugby league displayed on Sunday.

  1. BulletThe actual game. It was a very entertaining contest from both teams. Wyong were impressive. Wyong’s Jay Florimo is a handy prospect as to is Mitch Williams who continues to build on his excellent form shown with Newcastle last year. Dean Parata is another handy player for Wentworthville. Managed to speak with him after the game and was impressed with his take on the match.

  1. BulletWyong have a look of professionalism about them. With coach Paul Stringer ably assisted by 2008 Manly premiership player and Dally M Medallist Matt Orford, the Roos should prove to be a competitive force as the season progresses. The coaching staff were observed  to be furiously taking down game notes as well strategically placed “spotters” around the ground providing “recon” to the main coaching staff via radio. Impressive.

  1. BulletAlway good to speak with Wenty coach Brett Cook. Looks to have a good relationship with his players and as per usual, keeps the players in the middle of the park after a game for his summation. Another impressive VB NSW Cup coach