Western Suburbs Magpies have begun the 2018 Intrust Super Premiership season on a winning note, downing the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 32-10 today.
Boosted by the inclusion of several experienced NRL players, Brett Hodgson's side quickly found their rhythm in the first half off the back of tries to Luke Garner and Tyson Gamble — continuing on in the second half to emerge with a comprehensive victory from their season opener at ANZ Stadium.
It was a far from ideal start from the Magpies as Fa'amanu Brown burrowed his way over the line after six minutes, but it didn't take long for the home side to find their groove. Josh Drinkwater found Garner with a good short ball close to the line after 12 minutes to level the match, before Gamble continued his strong start to his Wests Tigers career with a show-and-go to crash over and give the hosts the lead.
In control of the match at 12-6, Wests would allow the Bulldogs back in to the contest with a try late in the half to Jarred Anderson, with Rhyse Martin's unsuccessful conversion leaving the score at 12-10.
However, the second half belonged to the home side as they quickly began to show why they are being touted as one of the teams to beat in the Intrust Super Premiership competition this season.
Four minutes in to the second half, it was Bayley Sironen and Watson Heleta combining to send the latter over untouched off an inside ball before Gamble and David Nofoaluma found their combination on the right with two pin-point kicks allowing the Campbelltown junior to grab the easiest of braces.
Drinkwater was unable to land either conversion from the sideline, leaving the score at 26-10, before Sauaso Sue was rewarded for his strong efforts on the day with a four-pointer three minutes from time.
Currently sitting on top of the Intrust Super Premiership ladder after one round, Western Suburbs will head to Leichhardt Oval in Round 2 to face the Newcastle Knights from 1:00pm AEDT.
Western Suburbs Magpies 32 (Nofoaluma 2, Garner, Gamble, Heleta, Sue, tries; Drinkwater 4/6 goals) def. Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 10 (Brown, Anderson tries; Martin 1/2 goals)