It might not have been the fairy-tale finish of the 2016 campaign, but the Mudgee Dragons still had a successful year in the Group 10 Premier League, and down to the young Under 18s.
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For the Premier League, the 2017 campaign saw an end in the semi finals, as the Dragons fell to a strong Bathurst Panthers side just two games away from the decider.
The first division team didn’t make the finals, unfortunately, finishing two points outside the elimination rounds and in seventh place after their season was effected by numbers needed at the top.
Out of the three men’s grades for the Dragons, it was the Under 18s that flew the highest, and came closest to the grand final glory that they were all hunting.
The league tag ladies had a difficult season, placing eighth after sixteen games in the Group 10 league.
The young Mudgee talents were just one game away from a battle with Orange CYMS in the final, falling to Bathurst St Pats in the preliminary final after a rampaging run from fifth place in the regular season.
For many of the players in the squad, it was a season to prove themselves on the representative stage, or to put themselves in the eyes of the fans with stellar league performances.
Sam Wooden remained in the running for the player of the year for much of the season, eventually losing out to Orange’s Chris Bamford, and he was also named at sixth in the Group 10’s Biggest Influences list.
Todd Munn had another strong season with the Dragons, enough to earn him another green-and-white jumper for the Western Rams when they take on the Federation of Italia Rugby League Australia in late September.
Ben Thompson and Nick Harvey both made the cut for Fairfax Media’s Sports Desk Team of the Year as well, with Harvey earning the plaudits off the back of “leading the Mudgee pack for much of 2017”.
One player that made the notable step-up to the top grade throughout the season as well was Jack Beasley, who came in at hooker to replace Ben Thompson when the first choice rake was unavailable.
Lee Hicks was the top tryscorer for the Dragons in 2017, bagging 15 in 16 games. Sam Wooden was the top pointscorer, scoring five tries and kicking 42 goals for a 104-point haul over the season.
Jack Beasley scored 9 tries for the first division, the most for the team, and kicked 23 goals for 86 points to also place as their top point scorer.
Mitchell Harvey bagged 13 tries in the Under 18s competition, the most for the Dragons and for the league itself. Lachlan Hill was the leading pointscorer, kicking 33 goals and scoring four tries for a final 82-point tally.
Finally, in the league tag Ebony Hudson topped the tryscoring tally for the Mudgee outfit with five, and although she kicked no goals those five tries were able to put Hudson at the top of the points table as well.
Mudgee Dragons are now seeking expressions of interest for their coaching positions for the next season.
If you wish to apply for a position, contact Kathryn Lang on 0411618045 or send your interest to email@example.com
Applications for the coaching roles with close Saturday, October 7.
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