It was a better showing from Westside on Sunday afternoon, but it still wasn’t good enough as defending premiers Forbes ran out 46-10 winners at No. 1 Oval.
While Group 11 fans will be pleased to see Westside show more fight than it did in the round one 102-0 capitulation against CYMS, the match was also proof the Magpies are not suffering a premiership hangover at the start of the 2017 season.
Jake Grace’s men ran in eight tries to two, powerhouse prop Zac Merritt and centre Joseph Core both bagging doubles in the win.
Merritt was outstanding again for the Magpies, leading from the front all match, while fullback Jesse Wighton was another of his side’s best at the back, getting his own name on the scoresheet.
Second-rower Ben Maguire backed up after playing for the Western Rams on Saturday and started, also grabbing a try, to help the Magpies to two wins from as many matches.
Rabbitohs captain-coach Colt Tairua had a point to prove and was the best for his side in the heavy loss, scoring one of his side’s tries, while hooker Dylan Ce bagged the other.
Discipline was again an issue for Westside, with both fullback Warren Peachey and centre Carl Ralph both spending time in the sin bin.
After routine wins over Wellington and Westside to start the season, Forbes will be expecting a much sterner test next weekend against Dubbo Macquarie, a side they defeated in last season’s finals on the way to the title.
Westside will be aiming to improve again in its next fixture, again at home, against the Wellington Cowboys.
In the weekend’s other games, it didn’t seem home ground was any advantage.
Narromine Jets went down to Dubbo CYMS 16-32.
Macquarie Raiders hosted Parkes Spacemen but lost 26-30.
Wellington Cowboys were at home to Nyngan Tigers but the Tigers had the win 26-22.
In representative league, the Western Rams Under 23s side went down 62-0 to Monaro at Cowra, getting knocked out of the Country Championships in the first round.
Monaro, based in the Canberra region, blazed to a 34-0 lead in the first half and continued their dominance in the second.