GLOUCESTER Magpies continued on their winning way with a hard fought 40-16 rugby league win over Morpeth at a packed Bert Gallagher ground.
With a big day of league with the juniors playing earlier, the big boys didn't let the crowd down in a physical encounter.
With a couple of positional changes through work commitments and sickness, the Magpies still took the field with as strong side.
From the kick off the lads knew they were in for a battle with the big Morpeth pack really belting in defence. After a couple of sets from both sides Morpeth found themselves on Gloucester's line and the front rower scored near the posts for a 6-0 lead.
Gloucester kicked off and after defending for a couple of sets it was our turn to score with our new front rower, Scott Wratten, barging over near the posts for Darcy Allardice to convert to make it 6-6.
Scott, a veteran of 15 or more years, started his career on the wing, then to fullback, then to the centres and now finally made it as a footballer, the front row.
Back to the game. Morpeth came to play and from the kick off were getting stuck into Gloucester. However, the Magpies weathered the storm and it was young buck Rohan Everett's turn to score. Darcy missed the kick for Gloucester to go to a 10-6 lead. It was then Morpeth's turn with their other front rower crossing to give them the lead after the conversion 12-10. So 4 tries and 3 by front rowers, so obviously Scotty Wratten's move up front had inspired his opposite numbers.
The Magpies then suffered a massive blow with hooker Craig Murray going down with a knee injury and unfortunately the little fella looks to have done considerable damage and will be a huge loss.
With halftime upon us coach Allardice would have been reasonably happy.
A try to Johny Cornelius gave the Maggies a 14-12 lead which was shorted lived when the No 19 for Morpeth strolled over for them to take the lead again 16-14. That would be the last time they scored.
After a little fracas and one of Morpeth's players being sin binned, Rohan Everett was in for his second to make it 18-16. Another veteran, halfback Hayden Tull, was next to cross and with Darcy converting Gloucester went ahead 24-16. Newcomer Sam Murray, playing in the back row, and been one of Gloucester's best in all games took a hit up and the tackle from the Morpeth player was a beauty, but an incident that followed was a little over the top. To Sam's credit he got up and started a bit of push and shove which resulted in a Morpoeth player and our winger Clancy Johnson in the bin. With the visitors down a couple, replacement hooker Cordell Dunncliff was the next to cross and with Darcy converting Gloucester were up 30-16.
It was now 13-on-13 again but this didn`t stop the Magpies with a converted try to man of the match Darcy Allardice and a final try to Clancy Johnson taking the score to 40-16.
It was another solid performance. Scott Wratten, Sam Murray, Rohan Everett, Hayden Tull and the two Predebon brothers were all strong in another great team effort. Jack Wamsley also impressed off the bench and is getting better every week. Well done champ.
Special mention to all our sponsors. Without you fellas we don't play. We are on the road next Saturday away to Dungog with a 3pm kick off. Bus time will be advised.
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