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The 2017 NSW Junior Rugby Union State Championships were held over the June long weekend and despite the record rainfall, the teams competing in age groups from Under 11’s through to Under 17’s were still able to play.
Organisers were faced with a number of big logistical problems as they dealt with the toughest weather conditions with heavy rain and storms over the days leading into the championships.
The President of the NSW Junior Rugby Union Ben Gregory said that the week of rain and some last minute venue changes made things difficult but nothing stopped the games going ahead.
“We had some of the heaviest rain any of us can remember and many grounds were affected by the wet weather and we lost some grounds before and during the weekend,” Ben said.
“Some scrambling by the clubs and NSWJRU officials meant that we were able to find grounds for all age groups to go ahead and play but often this meant we had to reschedule and reduced the format.
“Sadly some of these changes were didn’t help a few of the teams and we apologised for that.
“We did make every effort to make sure that teams that had been training for months together and that had travelled, still got the opportunity to play their games and challenge for the State title.”
The U12’s competition found their grounds at Camden were closed but managed to secure a venue at Tudor House at Moss Vale before the finals on Day 3 were moved to Koola Park.
The U15’s had to find a new venue on the Friday and then lost one of those grounds before a ball was kicked. Another shift to Rat Park meant the games could finally go ahead.
Luckily the conditions in Orange for the Under 14’s were perfect with great weather and the best conditions of any age group whihc lead to a wonderful weekend of rugby.
Ben Gregory offered his thanks to all who helped make sure the games were played.
“I’d like to thanks all those clubs volunteers and officials who worked tirelessly to make sure that the weekend went ahead and who faced all the challenges that went into just getting the boys onto the park,” he said.
“The upshot is that we got to play some great rugby and the 2017 State Champions were found in all age groups. Congratulations to these teams.”
The Winners from the 2017 State Championship Finals were:
Under 12’s: Parramatta 47 def Randwick 10
Under 13’s: Penrith 44 def Southern Districts 5
Under 14’s: Eastwood 45 def Gordon 12
Under 15’s: Eastwood 24 def Sydney University 22
Under 16’s: Easts 43 def Manly 12
Under 17’s: Hunter 17 def Parramatta 15