Mojo Magic Round hailed a success

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The inaugural Mojo Homes Illawarra Cup ‘Magic Round’ saw four big match-ups play out at Win Stadium on Saturday, with Dapto, De La Salle, Thirroul and Collegians all picking up vital wins.

The sunny conditions and fast, dry track allowed attacking football to play out across the day, with the high-scoring matches providing plenty of entertainment for fans from all over the area.

Collegians moved to the top of the ladder with an impressive 46-16 win over the Western Suburbs Devils, with their captain Blake Phillips praising the team’s effort as they overcame an early 12-0 deficit to win comfortably.

“Letting in two tries in the first five minutes was a bit of a scare for us, but we regrouped and stuck it to them and showed them we’re here to play and got into a good roll,” Phillips said.

“To play on a surface like Win Stadium was great and it was good to be able to play slick footy and pass the ball a bit more and find a bit more joy to up the pace of the game.”

Butchers up the ante

The Thirroul Butchers notched up their fourth win in five matches with a 50-0 victory over an injury-affected Cronulla Caringbah line-up, with Thirroul winger Jaymon Tiata running in four tries in a standout performance.

Butchers coach Jarrod Costello commended his team’s defensive efforts as they kept their opponents at bay for the duration of the match.

“Our main standout today was our defence, we really wanted to have a focus on not conceding many points and to hold them to zero was really pleasing.

“We didn’t have to defend our line a hell of a lot but when we did we really turned up for each other.”

Costello and his team also enjoyed the conditions and atmosphere of Magic Round, and hopes to see it progress into the future.

“It’s a great initiative for the league to do something like this. Hopefully it’s something they can stick with and we can make it bigger and better every year.”

In the earlier games the Dapto Canaries had a 42-32 win in an action-packed game against Corrimal Cougars, while De La Salle came home strong to beat Helensburgh Tigers 28-14.

>>Magic Round In Pictures

A runaway success

Illawarra Rugby League Operations Manager Nigel Roy hailed Mojo Homes Magic Round a success  and says he is looking forward to building on the concept in the coming years.

“This is the first time that the Illawarra Rugby League has put on a Magic Round, with all eight Mojo Cup Clubs playing at the same venue, and I think it’s been a really successful day. We’ve had loads of people through the gate and all of the Clubs have played in the right spirit.”

“To see the numbers that have turned out to support the Magic Round itself has been great, which is encouraging and sets it up really well for the future.”

With the inaugural Mojo Homes Magic Round now completed, players, coaches and administrators are backing the initiative to become an annual fixture as a showcase of local rugby league and continuing on from the success of the event this year.

Story and Images : Russ Haylock

Russ Haylock is currently studying journalism at UOW and is a media intern at the IRL.

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