Mag­pies fall short of win

Pres­sure on Mitchell sea­son af­ter 22–18 loss

The Western Star - - Sport - Lucy Ruther­ford lucy.ruther­[email protected]­ern­starnews.com

RUGBY LEAGUE: The Mitchell Mag­pies played with heart in front of their black and white le­gion but fell short against the Chin­chilla Bull­dogs, go­ing down 22–18.

For­mer Mag­gies play­ers were out in force to re­call their glory days as Mitchell Mag­pies cel­e­brated Old Boys’ Day at their home turf on Satur­day.

Player Kimba Fien said that, while the boys’ per­for­mance was stronger in the sec­ond half, al­low­ing the Bull­dogs to get an early lead proved costly.

“A lot of the team was play­ing out of po­si­tion and we let the Bull­dogs run in three quick tries, which im­me­di­ately put us on the back foot,” he said.

“We did gel to­gether a bit more in the end of the first half then started the sec­ond half off a bit bet­ter but our com­ple­tions were ter­ri­ble and silly mis­takes with drop ball in our own end didn’t help the out­come at all.

“With only los­ing by four points in the end, I think we were the bet­ter team but we just made silly mis­takes at crucial points.”

With a try apiece to Shel­don Martin, Matt Newton and James Bren­nan, club pres­i­dent John Bir­kett be­lieved the boys were the bet­ter side for the ma­jor­ity of the game but just couldn’t con­vert op­por­tu­ni­ties into points.

“It was poor ball han­dling and di­rec­tion that cost them the win,” he said.

“They didn’t get off to a great start, let­ting the Bull­dogs get an early lead, and we missed scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, with three oc­ca­sions drop­ping the ball in the scor­ing zone.

“We now need to win the next two out of three games to be able to make fi­nals and it’s against the top-of-the-lad­der teams – Red­bulls, St George and Cities.”

Fien said while the team was dis­ap­pointed to lose the game, be­ing able to play for some old faces mo­ti­vated them to keep push­ing.

“It was pretty cool get­ting to play in front of a lot of the old Mag­pies,” Fien said. “My dad was a Mag­pie and I’m proud to be one my­self.

“It’s just dis­ap­point­ing we couldn’t get the win for the old fel­las on the side­line that day.”

The Mag­pies will play sec­ond-placed Red­bulls in Roma next week, with the last ju­nior rugby game of the sea­son to be played at Mitchell.

“We man­aged to take down Red­bulls the last time we played so, if we play at that level again, there will be no stop­ping the boys,” Fien said. “Hope­fully for our next and last home game versus Cities, the boys will per­form a lot bet­ter, es­pe­cially with it be­ing Spon­sors’ Day.”

PHOTO: LUCY RUTHER­FORD

LEGACY: For­mer and cur­rent Mitchell Mag­pies play­ers at the Old Boys’ Day on Satur­day.

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