The Yass Magpies had a day they would rather forget on Saturday, with all five grades across the Club going down to the Gungahlin Bulls.

The Magpies in the Canberra Raiders Cup First Grade competition went down 28-12 against the seventh-placed Bulls at Gungahlin Enclosed Oval.

Despite only trailing by six points at half-time, the Magpies fell away in the second half to go down by 16 points. 


“We had the same old story of mistakes in first grade on the weekend. Our mistakes led to tries for our opposition,” Yass Magpies President Tim Clayton said. 

“It was 12-6 at half time and just after half time it was 12-all. We were right in the game, going really well and were hanging in there, but then we made three mistakes, and they scored three tries. 

“Certainly, at this level of competition, mistakes lead to points and unfortunately that’s what happened. 

“You can’t fault the effort or application of any of the grades or how they performed on the weekend. We’re still really happy as a Club, we’re developing and heading in the right direction, but on Saturday it didn’t fall our way.”

In other results, the Reserve Grade Magpies lost 28-0 to the Gungahlin Bulls, the Katrina Fanning Shield side went down 28-16, League Tag lost 30-0, and the Under 19s were defeated 18-6.


Tim said while the weekend of results wasn’t ideal, there were plenty of good lessons to come out of the games. 


“It was a little bit disappointing, but Gungahlin are a pretty strong club. They’ve got a lot of depth throughout all their grades. Most of the games were competitive and the losses outside of the League Tag team – who have come to us and joined us this year for the first time in quite a few years and are certainly developing well – were all quite close” Clayton continued.  


“Our Under 19s are basically an Under 18s side, so they’re a developing side as well and there’s a lot of scope and development for those young men. 

“For our Katrina Fanning Shield tackle ladies, the bounce of the ball didn’t really go their way. Due to injury, suspension, and some players being unavailable, they put in a really good effort and only finished the game with 13 players whereas the Bulls had 18 players. 


“Reserve Grade were competitive to a point, but the Bulls have a strong reserve grade side and probably just ran over the top of us a little bit. There’s certainly plenty of scope in the reserve grade side and they will be right in the mix come semi-finals time.” 


In more positive news for the Club, first-grade coach Adam Kyle has this week signed a 12-month contract extension with the Yass Magpies, securing him as head coach for the 2024 Canberra Raiders Cup season. 


“There was an option for both of us, and we certainly offered it to Adam, and he accepted. We’re excited to have him here for another 12 months,” Clayton said. 

“The feedback we’re getting from our playing group is that they’re really happy with how he coaches, how he delivers his messages and how he interacts with the Club. 

“We’re sort of looking at a two-to-three-year rebuilding phase, and we’re certainly in that.

“Even though at this stage we’ve only had two wins this year, up until round six we probably should’ve been four and one. We lost three games that we probably should’ve won. One by two points and we pushed Roos at Queanbeyan – they’ve been undefeated and we were leading them 16-12.

“The bones of a good side are there. As far as from a Club perspective, Adam has certainly brought some new training techniques, new thoughts, and new processes into the club that seem to be working well.

“We’re very excited to have Adam stay around and naming him early also gives us the opportunity to go early to market to look for positions where we may need a little bit more depth.”

In other exciting news for the Club, Yass Magpie Aublix Tawha who started the season with the Club, has made the move to play in the Queensland Cup for Redcliffe.


Canberra Raiders Cup First Grade Ladder:

  • Queanbeyan Roos – 20 points – +258
  • Belconnen United – 14 points – +8
  • Goulburn – 12 points – +38
  • Tuggeranong – 12 points – +6
  • Woden – 12 points – -8
  • West Belconnen – 11 points – +30
  • Gungahlin – 6 points – -80
  • Queanbeyan Blues – 5 points – -118
  • YASS MAGPIES – 4 points – -134

Tim Warren