Sydney beat Country in NSW Junior showdown


To end a fantastic weekend of Junior State Championships all around New South Wales, the best Under 18s from Sydney and NSW Country battled it out for the Michael Brial Cup at Concord Oval on Monday afternoon.

To end a fantastic weekend of Junior State Championships all around New South Wales, the best Under 18s from Sydney and NSW Country battled it out for the Michael Brial Cup at Concord Oval on Monday afternoon.

The Michael Brial Cup is contested between the Sydney and NSW Country Under 18s each year, similar to the Tim Gavin Shield (Under 14s) and the Steve Tuynman Cup (Under 15s) in other age groups.

Despite a gutsy performance from the NSW Country side, it was the Sydney boys who won 25-15.

Sydney got off to a flyer, scoring two tries in the first 15 minutes but NSW Country fought back and put some phases together to close the gap to 10-5 at the halfway mark.

The second half was equally entertaining with both sides scoring a try apiece in the first 10 minutes but it was Sydney who scored two late tries to secure the win.

NSW Waratahs Elite Youth Development Manager, Pat McCutcheon, said the quality of players on display was outstanding.

“Our Generation Blue programme is about developing the next group of players and it was encouraging to see the young talent that’s in our State,” McCutcheon said.

A NSW Juniors team will be picked from the Sydney and NSW Country Juniors teams to compete at an Under 18s trial on 24 June along with selected players from the NSW Junior Rugby Union Under 18 State Championships that were held the past weekend.

These selected players are: Jack Allen (Hunter), Beau Merrick (Hunter), Tom McPhee (Hunter), Jack Hamilton (Hunter), Elias Pettigrew (Hunter), Tautua Faatui (Manly), Tuatai Marsters (Manly), Filimaua Filimaua Tau (Manly), Langi Gleeson (Manly), Liam O’Sullivan (Manly), Alex Campbell (Gordon).

Following the trial on 24 June, the Sydney Under 18s, NSW Country Under 18s and the selected players from the Under 18 State Championships will play in an open trial against GPS III and IV for selection in the NSWJRU Under 18s squad. This representative team will compete at the Division 2 Nationals on the Gold Coast from 6-12 July.

“The competition on the Gold Coast provides a pathway to a national representative level for young players who are not at school but in the Sydney Juniors and NSW Country pathways systems. Credit to Ben Gregory (President, Sydney Junior Rugby Union) and all his team for being able to create this fixture that showcases the best youth talent from the Sydney Junior and NSW Country pathways,” McCutcheon said.

The Sydney Juniors Under 18s team will face the Combined High Schools (CHS) Under 18s this Saturday 17 June at Warnervale on the Central Coast. The match presents itself as a trial for the Sydney Juniors who are looking to make the NSWJRU Under 18s side while for the CHS players, it’s an opportunity for them to make one of the two NSW Schools teams.

For all the results from around the grounds of the Junior State Championships last weekend, follow this link

Sydney 25 (Tries - Terence Toomata, Jack Walsh, Max Douglas, Reihana Leui’i, Nathanael Endemann) bt NSW Country 15 (Tries - Harrison DaMolin 2, Brady Mather 1)

About the Michael Brial Cup

Michael Brial, born 11 May 1970 and raised in Narrabri NSW, was a blindside flanker who represented NSW on 66 occasions in which he was captained 20 times between 1992 and 2000.

After being selected in the Australian Schoolboys side in 1987 and 1988, Brial went on to play for NSW and Australia in the Under 20s divisions before making his NSW Waratahs debut in 1992 against Wellington in New Zealand.

The annual Under 18s clash between Sydney Under 18s and NSW Country Under 18s is named in his honour.

Sydney Juniors (club in brackets)

1. Natane Talanoa (Sydney University)
2. Will Bremner (Captain – Gordon)
3. Joshua Tuiono (Western Sydney Barbarians)
4. Nathanial Pannozzo (Gordon)
5. Max Douglas (Manly)
6. Jesse MacKinnon (Southern Districts)
7. Oliver Wheatley (Eastwood)
8. Lachlan Lowick (Forest)
9. Wilson Dulieu (Eastern Suburbs)
10. Jack Walsh (Vice-captain – Manly)
11. Tyreese Figota (Eastwood)
12. Joshua Lambert (Eastwood)
13. Thomas Latu (Sydney University)
14. Tristan Leffers (Northern Suburbs)
15. Reihana Leui’I (Sydney University)
16. Alex Wallington (Eastern Suburbs)
17. McLean Domkins (Northern Suburbs)
18. Liam Janson (Northern Suburbs)
19. Nathanael Endemann (Northern Suburbs)
20. Ngalu Ikana (West Harbour)
21. Liam Heka (Eastwood)
22. Terence Toomata (Eastwood)
23. Jesse Robertson (Parramatta)

NSW Country Juniors

1. Jayden Lynch
2. Matt Kokegei
3. Logan Griffiths
4. Matthew Peebles
5. Ollie Smyth
6. Alex Vaughan
7. Chad Shipton
8. Harrison DaMolin
9. Kye Blair
10. Reece Jacobs
11. Liam Dailibozel
12. Adam Peruch
13. Jacob Rabai
14. Brady Mather
15. Lachlan Shelley
16. Rowdie Saunders
17. Jacob Barrett
18. Williiam Archer
19. Brad Thorn
20. Doughal O’Reilly
21. Jayden Duff
22. Harrison O’Leary
23. Jack Vincent
24. Tobias Atallah