Western Suburbs Magpies have extended their winning streak to seven games with an impressive 36-16 victory against North Sydney Bears at North Sydney Oval.
It was a special win for Ben Gardiner’s men after the Magpies coach was forced to make 14 changes to his original line-up named on Tuesday due to COVID-19 protocols.
Reece Hoffman, Zach Dockar-Clay and Kelma Tuilagi were the only players to start in the positions they were named in with eight NRL squad members forced to sit out.
Seven Magpies players were on NSW Cup debut as Gardiner called on a number of Jersey Flegg players to step up to reserve grade.
Tuilagi was one of the standout players at the iconic venue as he scored two tries and ran for over 180 metres, however he was placed on report for a late hit in the first half.
Halfback Zach Dockar-Clay was also impressive as he had a hand in a number of tries, while Tuki Simpkins produced plenty of strong carries and big hits.
Match: Bears v Magpies
Round 10 -
Venue: North Sydney Oval, Sydney
You wouldn’t have known it was a disruptive lead-up to the game for the Magpies, who raced out of the blocks to score four tries to one in the first half for a 24-4 lead.
Western Suburbs bagged the game’s opening try after nine minutes when Tom Freebairn assisted Hoffman, who ran a beautiful line to score his sixth try of the season.
They doubled their advantage six minutes later when NRL development player Tuilagi spun his way through the defensive to score.
The Bears were next to score after they shifted the ball towards the right for Tom Carr to cross, however he was unsuccessful with his own conversion as the Magpies led 12-4.
The visitors extended their lead to 14 points when Joseph Taipari grubbered for himself and regathered to score his first NSW Cup try.
Young forward Simpkins also crossed for his maiden try in reserve grade when Dockar-Clay sent him through a hole for a 20-point advantage.
The home side were first to score after the break with Naufahu Whyte crashing over to close their deficit to 14 points.
The Magpies hit back moments later when Tuilagi crashed over for his second try of the evening for a 30-10 lead.
Taipari bagged his second try of the night after cleaning up a Zach Dockar-Clay grubber kick with 12 minutes remaining.
The 26-point win consolidated Western Suburbs’ second-place position on the ladder following 10 rounds.
Western Suburbs Magpies 36 (Tuilagi 2, Taipari 2, Hoffman, Simpkins tries; Dockar-Clay 6/6 goals) def. North Sydney Bears 16 (Carr 2, Whyte tries; Carr 2/4 goals) at North Sydney Oval.
Fullback for Bears is number 1 Brad AbbeyFullback for Magpies is number 4 Israel Ogden
Winger for Bears is number 2 Tom CarrWinger for Magpies is number 19 Logen Dillon
Centre for Bears is number 3 Josh BergaminCentre for Magpies is number 3 Reece Hoffman
Centre for Bears is number 4 Tony SatiniCentre for Magpies is number 17 Fetalaiga Pauga
Winger for Bears is number 5 Sione HopoateWinger for Magpies is number 24 William Kei
Five-Eighth for Bears is number 6 Jesse MarschkeFive-Eighth for Magpies is number 14 Joseph Taipari
Halfback for Bears is number 7 Josh RalphHalfback for Magpies is number 7 Zach Dockar-Clay
Prop for Bears is number 8 Max BaileyProp for Magpies is number 16 Austin Dias
Hooker for Bears is number 9 Shannon GardinerHooker for Magpies is number 15 Tom Freebairn
Prop for Bears is number 10 Michael FennProp for Magpies is number 22 Etuale Lui
2nd Row for Bears is number 11 Harrison Edwards2nd Row for Magpies is number 12 Kelma Tuilagi
2nd Row for Bears is number 12 Naufahu Whyte2nd Row for Magpies is number 20 Regan Hughes
Lock for Bears is number 13 Jerry KeyLock for Magpies is number 11 Tukimihia Simpkins
Interchange for Bears is number 14 Thomas DeakinInterchange for Magpies is number 18 Mavoni Tuifua
Interchange for Bears is number 15 Elia FaatuiInterchange for Magpies is number 21 Kell O'Brien
Interchange for Bears is number 17 Ben ThomasInterchange for Magpies is number 23 Daniel Sykes
Interchange for Bears is number 18 Tevita AlifaInterchange for Magpies is number 26 Kurtis Preece
Reserve for Bears is number 21 Jack MorrisReserve for Magpies is number 10 Billy Stapleton
- Referee: Jake Sutherland
- Touch Judge: Nick Beashel
- Touch Judge: Nathan Loveday