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Top four on the line for Magpies in final round

A win for Western Suburbs against the Newtown Jets in the final round of the Intrust Super Premiership competition this weekend would see them secure a top four spot ahead of the finals series kicking off next weekend.

A defeat, and it's likely they'll end the regular season in fifth position and immediately find themselves in a do-or-die Elimination Final to keep their hopes at claiming the Intrust Super Premiership trophy alive.

The situation couldn't be any clearer than that for Brett Hodgson's side, as the Magpies look to cap off a remarkable season of growth. Just 12 months earlier, Wests Tigers Intrust Super Premiership side ran outright last in the reserve grade competition; this year, they're a real shot at taking out the entire thing.

With a number of NRL squad members set to return throughout the Intrust Super Premiership finals series too (depending on, of course, if the NRL side makes the finals), Hodgson's side will know the importance of securing a top-four spot to give them a second chance should they slip up in their Semi Final.

Gamble field goal secures win for Magpies

Saturday's clash against the third-placed Newtown Jets is easily the game of the round in the NSW domestic competition — especially if the meeting between the two earlier in the year is anything to go by.

On that day at Lidcombe Oval, Wests were leading comfortably at the break and really should have run away with the contest in the second half, before Kyle Flanagan inspired a Newtown comeback to level the scores late on, before sensationally slotting a long-range field goal on the bell to secure a stunning victory.

That game has told the story of the season for the Magpies in many ways so far, with discipline and the ability to close out matches the only reasons why they haven't already secured a top four spot.

Several times this season, Western Suburbs have led and generally dominated their opponents in attack — only to allow them back in to the contest late on and surrender the two competition points on offer.

However, the last fortnight has shown that perhaps the Magpies have turned the corner in this regard.

Fielding a far more inexperienced side than some of the NRL-dominated outfits that have taken the field this year, Western Suburbs have won their past two matches in the final minutes thanks to field goals from Tyson Gamble — in tough matches away from home against both Mounties and the Wyong Roos.

Those games will have certainly given the side plenty of confidence that they can make it three wins in a row heading in to the finals series, and if that is the case, they'll certainly be a tough side to match up against in the top four given the ability they've shown throughout the season so far.

Wests will welcome back Tim Grant from injury in a timely return for the side prior to the finals series, while regular captain Luke Garner is also be a late inclusion following Thursday night's NRL game.

It's certainly going to be an enthralling contest on Saturday afternoon with a number of finals permutations on the line — make sure you tune in to Channel 9 or 9now.com.au from 1:00pm AEST for all the action!

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Jets is number 1 William Kennedy
    Fullback for Magpies is number 1 Dylan Smith
  • Winger for Jets is number 2 Matt Evans
    Winger for Magpies is number 2 Harrison O'Toole
  • Centre for Jets is number 3 Aaron Gray
    Centre for Magpies is number 11 Chris McQueen
  • Centre for Jets is number 4 Reubenn Rennie
    Centre for Magpies is number 4 Sam McIntyre
  • Winger for Jets is number 5 Sione Katoa
    Winger for Magpies is number 18 Connelly Leumelu
  • Five-Eighth for Jets is number 6 Jack Williams
    Five-Eighth for Magpies is number 6 Tyson Gamble
  • Halfback for Jets is number 18 Jesse Marschke
    Halfback for Magpies is number 7 Tuimoala Lolohea

Forwards

  • Prop for Jets is number 8 Wesley Lolo
    Prop for Magpies is number 8 Joseph Ratuvakacereivalu
  • Hooker for Jets is number 9 Blayke Brailey
    Hooker for Magpies is number 9 Pita Godinet
  • Prop for Jets is number 10 Jaimin Jolliffe
    Prop for Magpies is number 10 Cowen Epere
  • 2nd Row for Jets is number 11 Briton Nikora
    2nd Row for Magpies is number 24 Luke Garner
  • 2nd Row for Jets is number 12 Anthony Moraitis
    2nd Row for Magpies is number 12 Robbie Rochow
  • Lock for Jets is number 21 Ava Seumanufagai
    Lock for Magpies is number 15 Alex Seyfarth

Interchange

  • Interchange for Jets is number 13 Billy Magoulias
    Interchange for Magpies is number 13 Thomas Mikaele
  • Interchange for Jets is number 16 Matthew Jurd
    Interchange for Magpies is number 14 Bayley Sironen
  • Interchange for Jets is number 17 Malakai Houma
    Interchange for Magpies is number 17 Tim Grant
  • Interchange for Jets is number 20 Addison Demetriou
    Interchange for Magpies is number 19 Kurt Aldridge