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Finals Fever for Wests Tigers Juniors

Excitement is building ahead of this weekend’s junior representative fixtures, with Wests Tigers fielding teams in the semi-finals of two competitions.

In the Harold Matthews Cup, the Western Suburbs Magpies will face off against the Canberra Raiders at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on Saturday afternoon, with a grand final spot up for grabs.

The Magpies will be looking to build upon a strong season, which saw them pick up the minor premiership for the first time in the club’s history.

Speaking ahead of the clash, Coach Robbie Mears believes that his team’s record is reflective of the effort, commitment and culture that the side built in the pre-season and maintained throughout their campaign.

We are so proud of our results to date, even more so when considering the climate we have endured with COVID, injuries and extreme weather conditions

Robbie Mears

“Whilst challenging on the face of it, it has certainly bred resilience and agility.”

While the Raiders will pose a difficult challenge on Saturday, the Magpies have averaged over 27 points per game this season and Mears believes that his squad has the firepower needed to win.

“We all understand there is hard work to come over the final series but we have the confidence in our preparation, desire to succeed and willingness to work hard for each other on and off the field”.

Mears was full of praise for his entire 27-man squad and stated that he’s excited to monitor their development as they continue through the Pathways Program, regardless of Saturday’s result.

“As a coach I couldn’t have asked for a more dedicated and capable playing group and I’m looking forward to watching their Rugby League journey unfold.”

Immediately before the Harold Matthews Cup match, Wests Tigers will face the Sydney Roosters Indigenous Academy in the semi-final of the Tarsha Gale Cup.

Wests Tigers earned their spot in the semi-finals with a tight-fought victory over Illawarra as David Faounuku’s side put up a defensive stand to keep the Steelers scoreless in the second half.

Confidence amongst the playing group is high on the back of four consecutive victories, and the squad believes that they are capable of beating the undefeated Roosters on Saturday.

This confidence will be boosted by the return of hooker Losana Lutu, which will see Mia Taylor shift to prop, Claire Kenedy to the second row and Tehillah Vaeluaga to the interchange bench.

Pathways Coaching Manager Brett Kimmorley is extremely proud of the team’s success, stating that the strong results are a product of the club’s commitment to ensuring that all female players are provided with the same opportunities as their male counterparts.

“Our Tarsha Gale and Harvey Norman (Women’s Premiership) girls have spent a fair bit of time training together over the summer, so it’s exciting to see the Tarsha Gale side make it into the Grand Final qualifier”.

Using the metaphor of constructing a house, Kimmorley explained that the Pathways Program provides the foundations for the club to build upwards and ultimately achieve success at the highest level.

On the outside, everyone sees the Wests Tigers and kicks them from pillar to post for doing poor things, but internally you can see how many good things are happening

Brett Kimmorley

Robbie Mears agrees, stating that the Wests Tigers Pathway program is building to be one of the strongest in the league.

“We pride ourselves in investing in our local juniors. We connect at all levels of the Club, right through to First Grade, and the senior staff at the Club are taking an active role in the progress and development of our players”.

Acknowledgement of Country

Wests Tigers respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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