7/06/2018

State's students begin Waratah Cup campaign

Young rugby players from across NSW will get their chance to push for State honours in the 2018 instalment of the Waratah Cup competition.

Sixteen teams in the Under 14s, Under 16s and Under 18s age groups, including an Under 18s Girls Sevens division, took part in the Sydney Metro competition at Killara’s Koola Park on Tuesday.

The teams were Northern Beaches Christian School, Asquith Boys High, Endeavour Sports High, Westfield Sports High, Epping Boys High, Killara High, St Ives High, St Leo’s, Patrician Brothers Blacktown and St Paul’s College are among the competitors across all divisions.

While the students of Endeavour Sports High and Westfields Sports High took out the Under 14s, the boys at St Leos and Killara High topped the Under 16s and 2017 runners-up Patrician Brothers Blacktown and Epping Boys High progressed through to the Under 18s finals.

The Waratah Cup, which was started in 2011, is an open competition for boys and girls in 15-a-side and Sevens formats for Under 14, Under 16 and Under 18 age groups. Teams compete in regional-specific gala days against other local schools with the winners progressing to the State Championship in Sydney on 4 July.

Aside from a combined Sydney Metro meet, the Central Coast, Far North Coast, Mid North Coast, Newcastle/Hunter, Far West, Illawarra, Western Plains and Central North/New England regions have each hosted their own hub days.

NSW Rugby General Manager of Community and Participation, Mark Green, said: “The Waratah Cup is an open schools competition that gives every school in the State the chance to compete against each other across a number of age groups.

“This competition was introduced to give every school a chance to participate in rugby from the bush to the beach with the best of the nine regions progressing to the State Championships.”

To date, gala days have been held in a number of regions.

The Hunter and Riverina regions kicked off the gala days on 14 May, continuing through to the North Coast on 17 May. The South Coast, Sydney North and Western regions had their turn on 21 May, followed by the Far North Coast the day after. Western took part in a second gala day on the 28th, with the Waratah Cup festivities finishing up with the Sydney Metro instalment on 5 June.

In the Far North and Mid North Coast regions, over 750 players from 47 teams represented 18 schools at the gala days held at St John’s College, Woodlawn (Lismore), Grafton Rugby Club and Mid North Coast Verge Street Fields, Kempsey.

The schools that were represented for the Mid North Coast were: Wauchope High School, Great Lakes College, Camden Haven High School, Mackillop Catholic College, St John Paul College, Macksville High School, St Columba Anglican School, St Paul’s (Kempsey) and Gloucester High School.

For the Far North Coast, St John’s College Woodlawn, Casino High School, Xavier Catholic College and Ballina Coast High School were all represented.

NSW Rugby Development Officer for the North Coast, Tom Davidson, said: “It’s great to see such a mix of teams battling it out in their regional finals days.

“The growing number of schools teams participating on the North Coast is a real testament to the hard work of the local junior clubs, who are continually promoting and developing rugby in their communities.”

The Central Coast regional hub day featured 200 students from five schools. St Edward’s College won the Under 14s and Under 18s divisions while Terrigal High School won the top spot in the Under 16s age group.

Michael Burgess, NSW Rugby Development Officer for the Central Coast, said an act of sportsmanship underlined the spirit of the game.

“The Wyong High School Under 16s went down to eight players after a tough run throughout the day, however, refused to forfeit in their final match against Terrigal High. In an act of good sportsmanship and in the spirit of the game, the boys from Terrigal High filled in the gaps and matched their opponent’s playing numbers so they could compete,” Burgess said.

The Waratah Cup finals will take place between the best of each region at The Kings School, Parramatta on Wednesday 4 July.

Want to get involved in junior rugby? Find your local club right here.


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