Three of Mudgee’s up and coming rugby players represented NSW Country against Combined City sides in Bathurst last weekend – two of which in the triumphant 17s side.
NSW Country Junior Rugby Union and their City counterparts shared the spoils during Sunday’s top-class battles at Ashwood Park.
In a day showcasing the state’s best junior talent at Bathurst the under 14s, 15s and 16s City teams proved too strong for the hosts but Country took the honours across the under 17s boys and girls matches.
Lochie Brown played well for the under 15s team who looked like a winning shot against the visitors when they were up 7-5 up at half-time.
However, City upped their game in the second half to hold Country scoreless and run away 40-7 winners.
Harry Lee and Alex Saint were outstanding in their under 17 team’s victory over their more fancied metropolitan opponents.
The Country boys ending the afternoon on a high note with a narrow 36-33 win.
Lee and Saint put in strong performances in contributing to the victory.
And as a result have been offered the opportunity to participate in a Tamworth round robin weekend for Eastwood U17s against the Tamworth Pirates and Tamworth Magpies.
The Sydney club aiming to get their young players out into country areas and for country players to build connections.
Both the 16s and 17s boys matches were fantastic, close fixtures to close out the day, City’s 16s getting up 17-12 in the penultimate male match.
The under 17s girls gave Country their first success of the day in a 27-15 scoreline.
NSW Country Junior Rugby Union secretary Michael Sutherland said the boys in gold came close to taking out the majority of the day’s games.
“The under 16s match could have gone either way, and we could have walked away with wins in three out of five games,” he said.
“It was very disappointing for them because last time they played the Sydney boys they lost 28-15 and this time they came very close.
“The 17s boys were up by quite a bit in their game but they downed the tools for a bit, and City scored three tries in the space of about 15 minutes.
“Our 14s and 15s results were a bit of a surprise. We thought they’d go quite well but it was probably a bit of a shock for some of the guys playing at that level for the first time.
“There’s a few things to work on there for next year. Overall it’s clear to see that our players are getting better.
“We’re up against Sydney boys who get to train together every week, so even to win one game is an amazing result.”
The matches against City wrap up the rep season for the Country teams, except for the 15s who have the Junior Gold Cup next month.