In the first game of the tournament the Magpies faced the hosts, the Austin Crows. Skipper Andy Brennan lost his fifth consecutive coin toss for the year and the Crows elected to kick with the aid of the strong 3-4 goal wind. The Crows came out hard and had the better of the Pies in the first 10 minutes. They were first to the ball and tackled and hunted in packs. Even though the Magpies were given first use of the ball by Buckingham in the ruck, the Pies struggled to win the clearances. In his first game back from injury Ormsby looked out of touch.Â If not for the strong defense of Norman, Davis and Mantzaris and the wasteful kicking of the Crows, the Magpies would have been down by a lot.
However, after a few changes were made the Pies got back into the contest. McMaster and Squires were pushed back; JD and Iza moved up onto the ball, and Gluck, Sani and Desai all started to have an Influence on the game.
Brennan took a strong mark and kicked a crucial goal against the wind to leave the Pies less than 2 kicks down at the break.
At halftime the coach’s message was to run the game out and use the wind. This seemed to work as the Magpies came out strongly and used the ball better. Dawkins and McMaster were on the end of some good work with both kicking truly. Walt Lin was playing a commanding game, but when a desperate act caused him to go down injured Mitchell capitalized with some “Mitchell Magic” and the Pies were out to a strong lead.
However, the Crows were not to be easily brushed aside and came back hard. Smiley toiled manfully in the ruck, and some big bumps by Wittmer and controlled aggression from Squires kept the Pies coming.
Hawkins put the icing on the cake with his first goal after Pauly G, Myles and Pistol all contributed strongly.Â Oui, Walker and Flavel ensured the Crows were kept goalless in the second half.
Half Time Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Full Time
Austin Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 2 . 5. Â 17 Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 2. 6. 18
New York Â Â Â Â Â 1 . 2. Â 8 Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 5. 5. 35
Goals: Brennan, McMaster, Dawkins, Mitchell, McLoughlin, Hawkins
Best:Â Brennan,Â Dawkins,Â Gluck, Wittmer, Davis, Hawkins, Lin
Injuries: Lin (Ankle)