The Wentworthville Magpies put on a clinic at Ringrose Park on the weekend, beating last year’s Grand Finalists Wyong Roos 28-18.
Reflecting on the victory, Magpies Head Coach Joey Grima said there were plenty of positives to take out of the Intrust Super Premiership season opener.
“It was a satisfying win on two fronts as we continued to work on our combinations and our attitude leading up to the game was excellent,” Grima said.
“The whole week leading into training and the way we prepared for the game was the most pleasing thing.”
“The attitude of our full-timers that came back into the Intrust Super Premership really impressed me.”
“It is a difficult environment where players that train full time come back, but it was pleasing with the way all the players prepared and the way that their attitudes towards taking on Wyong, who were in the GF last year, were always going to be a hard game but it was most pleasing.”
The Magpies side saw three representatives named in the Intrust Super Premiership Round One Team of the Week, with winger Bureta Faraimo, prop Danny Wicks and half Mitch Cornish named.
Cornish also claimed captaincy honours after his strong Round One performance.
“Some players really stepped up and put their claims forward. Mitch Cornish kicked Wyong off the park, Bureta had some fantastic carries and Danny Wicks was excellent taking the ball forward,” Grima said.
“Everyone seems to be putting their hand up and giving themselves an opportunity where if Brad needs to make any changes through injury or whatever, that they are putting their hand up. A perfect example of that was Rory O’Brien and Kelepi Tanginoa who were outstanding on the weekend.” He added.
Grima had particular praise for Wicks, who played his first game since returning from shoulder surgery in the off-season.
“I thought Danny carried the ball strong and a lot of the times the opposition weren’t able to put him on the ground and his energy level, he played the entire first 40minutes straight,” Grima said of Wicks.
“The thing that typifies what sort of person he is is the way he rallies the younger players and makes them feel a part of the program. It was very pleasing and I am really proud of him.”
Whilst there were three representatives in the Team of the Week, Grima also had praise for his entire backline with their performances creating healthy competition in his side.
“The outside backs were outstanding. Bureta was fantastic, Vai Toutai and John Folau were excellent in all aspects of their game (offensively and defensively) and Scott Schulte is still learning the trade.”
"We have done some video and are working on a few things but he certainly is going to go from strength to strength and Honeti Tuha did himself a lot of favours on the weekend, particularly where we have Ryan Morgan and Kieran Moss available for selection so it has kept us in a healthy way.”