TAMWORTH might have been well-beaten but Saturday’s local derby offered some encouragement for the
Sure, they were beaten 62-17, but they did manage to put three tries on Pirates – more than anyone for a few weeks – and produced some good periods of play, although they have already been doing that, co-coach Joe Goldsworthy said.
“The previous weeks we’ve been playing some good football,” Goldsworthy said.
That just hasn’t been reflected on the scoreboard.
Goldworthy said having Luke Neal at five-eighth made a difference.
Just the direction he provided, being accustomed to the position, gave the backs a lot more punch.
“It was encouragement for those guys who have been doing the hard work and are giving a bit of size away,” Goldsworthy said.
“But credit to Pirates.”
They were too good but the Magpies again didn’t help themselves with mistakes.
“The first half we made too many mistakes and they cost us,” Goldsworthy said.
It resulted in wave after wave of attack coming at them from Pirates.
“At half-time we spoke about doing the simple things,” Goldsworthy said.
And they did do those
They couldn’t have asked for a better start to the second half, with winger Ben Coombes scoring their second try about five minutes in.
He ran onto a great grubber through from half-back Nick Humpries.
Earlier, Blair Richards had crossed between Pirates’ rampages after they’d got some quick ball and stretched the Pirates defence.
“When we scored that try we showed we are capable of opening up Pirates,” Goldsworthy said.
They did a few times, just not always for reward.
Michael Pearce gave Magpies fans some hope of a bonus point when he snuck through after some good forward penetration.
It left them about 20 minutes to come up with a fourth try but they just fell short.
Against Moree the week before it was the outside backs who tore them apart.
On Saturday it was the Pirates forwards who did the damage, although the Magpies did match up well in the forwards in areas.
They were certainly competitive at the breakdown, and in the second half didn’t allow Pirates to get as much clean ball as they would have liked.
In the first half they thrived off that.
“They picked and drove well and controlled the ball,” Pirates co-coach Barry Everingham said of the Magpies.
The first half they were electrifying and it looked like being a long afternoon for the Magpies at 43-5 at half-time.
“The boys talked about the pace of the game,” Everingham said.
“It was pretty quick, a lot of snappy play but the support play was pretty good.”
There were a few times they were guilty of pushing the play and the support wasn’t quite there but that was only rare occasions.
The set pieces were also a pleasing aspect.
The scrum was good and the lineout was sensational, Everingham said, especially in the first half.