A slashing two-try performance from young Forbes fullback Charlie Staines highlighted a dominant 44-6 Magpies’ victory over Parkes on Sunday.
The home side raced to a 22-6 lead at the break, Staines scoring his brace in the opening 40 minutes, before Jarrad Tyack, Farren Lamb, Mitch Burke and Ethan Gaffney all crossed in the second stanza, completing the final round rout of the Spacemen.
In the wash-up, neither side moves on the Group 11 ladder heading into next week’s semi-finals series.
The Spacies remain in third while Forbes will play elimination semi-final footy for as long as they can after finishing fourth.
But an injury-hit Parkes is in serious doubt of being shown the back door of the 2018 season while Forbes heads into the post season as arguably the form side in Group 11.
HEAR FROM FORBES SKIPPER JAKE GRACE AFTER THE MAGPIES’ WIN:
Magpies coach Cameron Greenhalgh was delighted with his side’s form, two big wins over Nyngan and then Parkes helping snap a worrying three-week drought mid-season.
“We just take each week as it comes. Semi-final football is a different competition,” he said, the Magpies again taking home the the Brendon 'Stubby' Collits Memorial trophy.
“If we stay injury free and play the sort of footy I know we have in us, we’ll be hard to beat. But we won’t get too far ahead of ourselves.”
The sort of footy Forbes is capable of was in full swing during the opening 35 minutes against Parkes.
Dominant, patient, ruthless, physical, the Magpies attack and defence was irresistible.
Staines was the key, though, his speed and evasiveness enabling the 18-year-old fullback to score two stunning tries, both on the back of well-worked run around plays.
Jake Grace and Tyack both found the line in the opening 40 minutes, too, as the hosts raced to a 22-0 after 25 minutes.
Parkes’ joy was limited throughout the final round clash, but when Jordan Pope crossed right on half-time it gave the visitors a sniff at the break, down 22-6.
The Spacies then started the new half full of running, but each raid on the Forbes’ line was denied by the Magpies’ defence. It was as tough as it was desperate.
With little to smile about on the scoreboard, frustration crept into the visitors’ game and the Spacies lost Pope for five minutes after he gave officials some lip, Brandon Paige for 10 minutes for the same reason and then Maikeli Sivo was sent off in the 73rd minute for an alleged kick.
59 | Jordan Pope has been given 5 in the bin - not seen that before.— Nick McGrath (@nickmcgrath4) August 12, 2018
Forbes takes immediate advantage of the numbers and Tyack scores!! It's a long range beauty too. The Gaff in space! Looks like he's running backwards sometimes.
Forbes leads 32-6 #Group11
“We weren’t good enough today,” Prout said, the penalty count 8-7 in his side’s favour.
“Our second round, the penalties have been through the roof. In the second round we’ve being scrutinised. We’re obviously doing something wrong.
“We’re not getting better, and that’s a discipline thing. We have to regroup.
“We’ve got the potential, but whether or not we live up to that is up to us. That’s the challenge we’ve put out to the boys.”
Parkes is hopeful of gun half Chad Porter’s return for next week’s qualifying semi-final, while Forbes has no such injury concerns.
The Magpies are full strength heading into the post-season.
And with a cohesive unit firing on all cylinders, the Magpies will head into next week’s elimination semi-final confident of making the second week of the finals.
“We’ve had that sort of footy in us all year, we just haven’t been able to produce it. We’ve been building towards it,” Greenhalgh added.
“We’ve had to do a lot of defence over the last few weeks, and we knew if we got a fair share of footy at some stage we’d score some points. Our defence was on today, that’s what got us the win.”
He said patience with the ball is key for the young Magpies – Forbes forced Parkes into four line drop-outs on Sunday.
“We’ve been panicking because points haven’t come easy. We’ve got the cattle, it just wasn’t coming,” Greenhalgh added.
“Be patient, just play the set out, that’s the goal. But today we found a few gaps, and that’s good for the boys.”
The Magpies wore replica 1958 jerseys on Sunday to honour the club’s Group 11 premiership win that year over Dubbo CYMS.
- FORBES MAGPIES 44 (Charlie Staines 2, Jarrad Tyack 2, Jake Grace, Ethan Gaffney, Mitch Burke, Farren Lamb tries; Farren Lamb 6 goals) def PARKES SPACEMEN 6 (Jordan Pope try; Dave White goal)