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NSW boys and girls flocked from all over the state to compete in the annual Sydney City versus NSW Country derby in Bathurst at the weekend.
Juniors ranging from U14’s through to U17’s took to the home ground of the Bathurst Bulldogs at Ashwood Park to stake their claim for each of their respective regions.
Sydney Junior Rugby Union Competition Manager Kerry Brady was on the sidelines and experienced all five games first-hand.
“We had over 230 junior players take part in the annual derby this year in Bathurst,” said Brady. “There were some hotly contested matches played on Sunday, with Sydney City sides taking out three games out of the five over the Cockatoos and Corellas sides respectively.
“There was a large crowd in attendance, including the President of NSWJRU, Ben Gregory and the VP of NSW Country Juniors, Mick Sutherland.”
In addition to the four boy’s games, the Sydney Girls U17s faced off against the NSW Junior Country Corellas in an inaugural midday bout. After a tough 60 minutes, it was the Country girls who walked away with the silverware after keeping the Sydney girls at arm’s length to a final score of 27-15.
“This is a great initiative by both Unions to encourage girls to play 15-a-side Rugby and there is discussion about extending this to another age group,” Brady said.
First cab off the rank on the day was the U14’s which saw the Sydney-siders cruise away to a 36-10 victory over their Country opponents. Following each U14’s fixture, one Country player is presented with the Dave McCormack Shield, which comes hand-in-hand with a scholarship to attend a National Rugby Camp held in Armidale next January.
“The Dave McCormack Shield was awarded to Kye Stubbs of the Country U14’s,” said Brady. “This is an award initiated by the McCormack family in memory of Dave, who was a great contributor to Country Rugby Union.”
Next up were the U15’s, which saw Sydney run away with the Steve Tuynman Cup over the Junior Cockatoos, 40-7.
The most hotly contested match of the day were the U16’s says Brady, with the score tied at nil-all until almost half time.
“It was a see-sawing match but eventually Sydney crept ahead to claim the Ella Cup, winning 19-12,” she said.
Country closed the day with a win in the U17s division, proving too much for the city-slickers in a close 35-32 encounter for the Michael Brial Cup.
U14s | Sydney City 36 defeated NSW Country 10
U15s | Sydney City 40 defeated NSW Country 7
U16s | Sydney City 19 defeated NSW Country 12
U17s Girls | NSW Country 27 defeated Sydney City 15
U17s Boys | NSW Country 35 defeated Sydney City 32