Chirpy Magpies fly high in trial
THE gossip around the Valley was of the club’s falling dynasty but rebuilding Lower Clarence did its talking on the field against Casino.
Only three members of the Magpies’ title-winning 2009 campaign remain in the coup but Rickey Binge’s troops quickly found its feet in a 60-4 dismantling of Cougars.
Luke Prosser bagged a treble among a host of try-scorers for the hosts.
But it was the on-field talking – led by chief marshals James King and Anthony Hickling – which left the coach impressed.
“We had a lot of talk for our first game they gelled really well together,” Binge said.
“We are rebuilding our whole side.
“I think it was a good first-out hit.”
Engine room enforcer Ryan Binge set the go-forward as the defensive wall, a key facet of last year’s grand final run, returned to stop any Casino attacking raids.
“Our forwards set the platform by going forward,” coach Binge said.
“We were just trying to win around the rucks.
“Our defensive sets we the best part of it.”
Light-stepping custodian Jason James showed he will not be overawed when local rivals the Grafton Rhinos meet the Magpies in a pre-season clash in two weeks.
After the ‘eight out of 10’ performance against the Cougars, Binge will hope his Magpies can fly even higher.
“It’s very hard to tell (how we will go) but we will be going in with the same attitude,” he said.
“If anything they are going to get a lot of confidence out of the win.
“But we do have to improve on a few things. We are not going to change going into the pre-season.”
In the earlier game the Magpies’ under-18s beat a mixed Casino side.
Lower Clarence Magpies 60 def. Casino Cougars 4