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Six hundred youths from across New South Wales have descended on Tuncurry for the fourth year in yet another successful Coast to Country Cup rugby union carnival.
Westfield Sports High’s Under16 team proved the outstanding side on the day, overcoming a valiant Hunter Sports High in the final, three tries to two and 19-10, while Endeavour Sports High won the Under-14 championship, beating St. Edmunds College, 17-14, in another thriller.
Twenty one school teams from as far afield as Woodlawn College near Lismore in the north, west to Dubbo and south to Sydney came to the Great Lakes for the carnival, some arriving by coach after an overnight trip.
“It was a fantastic day again,” Andrew Hill, general manager of rugby development for the NSW Rugby Union, said after the carnival.
“The standard of the playing arenas and clubhouse facilities at the Peter Barclay Fields and Harry Elliott Oval are exceptional, and the reception we received from the Forster Tuncurry Dolphins officials made the occasion the more enjoyable.
“A complex such as this makes for good rugby and contributes to the development of the players. It is basically a rugby paradise here.”
Mr Hill later addressed the players, emphasising the importance of the game in their personal development, stressing four factors: respect, accountability, pride and inclusiveness, always with the attitude to “play hard, play fair and play to enjoy yourselves.
“Remember, the game is more than just a game,” he said.
Nineteen NSW Rugby Union officials, among them former top-class Sydney Eastern Suburbs halfback, Michael Doyle, Garry Walsh and Owain Roberts, officiated in the carnival.