Magpies pay for slow start

David Hall - South Coast Register

The home side won 30-16 to hold on to a share of second place on the points table with two rounds to play, but it was anything but easy as the Magpies, who trailed 24-0 at halftime, closed to within eight points midway through the second half, before Jamberoo scored a late try to seal the win.

Jamberoo’s first half was clinical from inside the first minute when five-eighth Mark Asquith split the defence and sent winger Josh Saunders over wide out. Centre Corey Grigg landed the conversion to give his side a 6-0 start.

It got worse for the Magpies just four minutes later when a left side attack saw winger Ben Barnard dive over in the corner and Grigg again converted for 12-0 and it appeared the Superoos were in for an easy day.

The whole game was a firey and referee Nick McInerney had his hands full keeping tempers under control as both sides tried to assert their superiority.

Grigg added a penalty goal for 14-0 and in the 30th minute before Barnard was on the end of some clover work by half Jono Dallas who dummied inside before going out to AJ Hatch who sent the flying winger over in the corner. Grigg converted for 20-0.

The home side added another nail in the Magpies coffin just before halftime, despite being a man short after Matt Coelho was sin-binned, and it was Dallas and Barnard again, with the winger on the end of a pin-point accurate crosskick to touch down for his hat-trick and a 24-0 halftime lead.

The Magpies desperately need to be first on the board in the second half and half Joe Rogers provided the inspiration when a grubber-kick rebounded off the goalpost pads and he was on hand to dive on the ball. Josh Coulter converted to get the visitors on the board.

This change of fortunes lifted the Magpies as the momentum of the game swung their way.

They put on some impressive attack leading to replacement Duncan Maddinson crashing over in the 53rd minute and Coulter converting and just four minutes later he was at it again, this time splitting the defence and diving over out wide to close the gap to eight.

Tempers again flared soon afterwards with Berry fullback Jake Gould and Jamberoo winger Josh Saunders both sin-binned after a melee.

In the end the Superoos were able to repel the Magpies and finish with a try of their own when second-rower Joe Roqoko send an overhead pass to Saunders who scored out wide. Grigg completed a kicking master-class with his fifth goal from six attempts to round out a 30-16 win.

In a tough clash James Asquith, in his 100th senior appearance for the club, twin brother Mark, Ben Barnard, Aaron Grigg and Andrew Clarks all played well for the Superoos, while Jake Gould provided enormous spark from the back, Josh Ingold, Luke Ryder and Maddinson all tried hard for the Magpies.


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