Oilsplus Cup: Wellington Redbacks defence too much for Magpies

Physical game: Wellington Redbacks coach praised the team's defensive efforts as well as player Zac McManus (pictured right). Photo: Simone McManus

Physical game: Wellington Redbacks coach praised the team's defensive efforts as well as player Zac McManus (pictured right). Photo: Simone McManus

Wellington coach Greg Brien has heaped praise on his side's defence after a stand-out showing from the Redbacks wall in a four-point Oilsplus Cup win over Molong Magpies last Saturday.

The Redbacks outplayed the Magpies on the road to win 16-12, Molong's only points the result of four penalties from Magpies' sharp-shooter Mitchell Brown.

Brown's boot kicked first points in the seventh and ninth minutes but it was Redbacks player Keiran Brien who scored the game's first try in the 14th minute.

Wellington's Brad McCarroll had two successful penalties in the first half of the game, which was followed by Brown's third penalty just before the break.

In the second half of the match, Brown's fourth and final penalty came in the 59th minute and kicked the hosts up 12-11 but it wasn't enough after Wellington's Mitchell Brien scored the match-winner in the 74th minute.

"It was a very physical game ... we never let a try in, all of their points were penalty goals, so all of our defensive efforts were made all the better by not allowing them to cross our tryline," Brien said.

Coming into round eight after winning against the Coolah Roos the previous weekend, Brien said the Redbacks knew points would come on the back of their defensive effort.

"We wanted to play it down their end and trust our defence to turn the ball over or we'd force a penalty or a mistake. That's when our points would come," he added.

Brien praised Zac McManus and 17-year-old James O'Brien saying they tackle anything that moves.

The Redbacks win now puts them second on the ladder behind the Geurie Goats and above Molong.

The top two is where Brien hopes Wellington can stay, especially leading up to the semi-finals in the coming weeks. There is a general bye this weekend then the Redbacks play Geurie at home.

Brien said the team will have a light training night on Wednesday then watch the State of Origin together to build camaraderie.

"Everybody will have a nice easy weekend this week, then start preparing in earnest again next Tuesday and Thursday for the clash with Geurie," he said.

The round nine game against the Goats will be tough for the Redbacks, Brien said.

"They probably haven't been at their best over the last couple of weekends if you look at the scores," he said. "They've had a couple of tough games too. It will be interesting to see.

"They've got the wood on us for as long as I've been involved with the club, which is about 18 months as coach, we just haven't been able to break them. Hopefully that's not too far around the corner."

That will be followed by two more byes for the Redbacks due to forfeits.