Four wins on the weekend for the Yass Magpies, and it’s even more impressive considering three of their sides won at Tuggeranong, a notoriously difficult venue for the club.

The First Grade Magpies defeated the Bushrangers 32-10 in only their third win for season 2021.

“The score should’ve been a lot more if you ask me and we bombed a lot of stuff early,” said Magpies Coach Cameron Hardy.

“We went in at the half with a little lead and we dug in. I told them to respect the football and play with a little bit more discipline and we’d come away with a win. They were really good on the weekend,” he said.

What was especially pleasing for Hardy was seeing what he’d been training his boys for implemented in the game. It’s failing to do so in previous weeks, which has been an enormous frustration for the coach in recent memory.

“It was more taking what we’ve been doing on the park and putting it out on the field, and that’s what we did and that was extremely pleasing. We haven’t trained on grass for over a fortnight and we have half a synthetic field that we’re very blessed to have and it’s probably brought us a little bit closer together I think.”

“We just needed to respect that footy and that’s what we did,” he said.

Amongst the best players were Captain Shaun Davis, Kyle Danilczak and fullback Inga Limoni.

With finals practically out of the equation, the Magpies now play three of the top four teams in their last four games and aim to make things difficult for the sides heading for finals.

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The Ladies KFS side had what Coach Mike Inkster described as their “most complete performance” of the year, winning 44-4 against the Bushrangers.

“We had a good chat about what we needed to do to be better and to really put it to the Bushrangers. The girls bought into the plan and delivered the plan perfectly. It was a really good result.”

“Right from the kickoff we had a plan and they executed it. We talked about it again at half time to keep going and start the plan again, and they did,” he said.

What’s the key to maintaining the standard set on the weekend? Buying into the plan says Inkster.

“I think the key is to all buy into the plan. Each team we play against the plan is different because all our opposition have different strengths and weaknesses. It’s a matter of identifying those and coming up with a strategy to take advantage of those, and once we all buy into it, and we’re all on the same page, then we all execute.”

“Next week we’ve got the Blues so that’s another massive game for us. We’ll have a plan, we’ll work on that plan early this week and then we’ll train for it throughout the week and hopefully execute it at home on Saturday,” he said.

Of the Magpies best performers, Inkster highlighted three players in particular.

“Sami Afele the captain had a blinder of a game herself but the way she led the team was very impressive on Saturday.”

“Hayley Liddle, the 18 year old lock who only joined the club this year. She was given a specific task to do and she did it, and did it without falter. Defensively she’s just an absolute weapon. There’s not many that have a better technique when it comes to defending than Hayley does.”

“Another one was Kristy Huey on the wing. She’s remarkable and there’s not a lot of size to her but she’s strong and she’s a good ball carrier. She had a very good game as well,” he said.

The Magpies have their Ladies Day on the weekend, and it’s a day the Ladies KFS have been looking forward to and are eager to perform on.

“There’s a lot of chatter that’s been going on the last couple of weeks in regards to Ladies Day. The girls want to enjoy the day, get their game on and put on a good show for everyone, and hopefully come away with the spoils, and then go enjoy themselves in the club rooms with all the other ladies.”

“It’s their day, absolutely their day and they’re up for it,” said Inkster.

The Under 19’s have now won three of their last four games after a 32-18 win against Crookwell, despite being undermanned yet again.

“It’s starting to come real good. I had 13 players on the weekend, with some of our boys still unavailable. We still dug deep and got a good win,” said Under 19’s Coach Jack Lemon.

“It was good the boys really brought the right attitude from the start. They knew the odds were against them but if they could do what we’ve been doing at training, then they could actually get it done,” he said.

When asked what the secret was to performing undermanned, Lemon says it’s a combination of pride in representing the Magpies and wanting to play with their mates.

“I put it down to playing for your mate next to you wearing a Magpie jersey.”

“If you miss that tackle, your mates have to do it so don’t miss that tackle and get the one percenters right and that’s what they’ve been doing.”

“Since the boys have been struggling for numbers all year, as long as they’re still happy and wanting to turn up and play with their mates, the results will reflect out there on the field. They’re all having a good time at training and on game day and it shows out there,” he said.

The best players for the Magpies were Ayden Pothan and Riley Timmer, who their teammates voted as Players’ Player.

Ayden Pothan and Riley Timmer

“They both really cemented that right edge in both attack and defence. We did drop a lot of ball again on the weekend and had to tackle set after set on our line again and again. That first half they didn’t give up any points and that right edge of ours did really, really well,” said Lemon.

The Under 19’s are hoping they will finally see a full squad in the coming weeks, and Lemon is quietly optimistic about his sides potential when they do.

“We’ve got one boy who was away on the weekend, Jack Hall our co-captain and he’ll be back. We’ve got another one who is about a week or two away from a broken collarbone, which he broke against Harden earlier this year. Young Tom Carey is still playing school union for Daramalan so he’s about another three weeks away and then we’ve got the full contingent.”

“Being undermanned again and again, and still getting the results that we’re after. When the other fellas come back and come in, they can pick up and we can keep going the way we are,” he said.

The Reserve Grade Magpies won 50-12 against the Bushrangers and sit a game clear of their opponents this week, the Queanbeyan Blues.

All sides will play the Queanbeyan Blues at Walker Park for their Ladies Day this weekend, with the Under 19’s kicking things off at 10:30 am.

Max O’Driscoll