The McDonald’s Far North Coast Under-15 Rugby representative team travelled to Moree to contest the Country Championships on the weekend of May 9th and 10th.
350 representative players (U14 & U15) from all over NSW (excluding Sydney) competed at the championships. They represented eight Zones from Illawarra, Central West, Central Coast, Hunter, Mid North Coast, Far North Coast (FNC), Central North and New England.
The boys played three games on the Saturday, showing great skill in attack and defence to dispose of Illawarra (34-0), Central Coast (26-5 ) and Central West (19-10), finishing first in their pool.
The elimination semi-final was played on Sunday morning against fancied rivals Hunter.
The FNC team displayed superior skills at the breakdown to deny Hunter any quality possession in attacking positions,
enabling the slick FNC backline to display their immense potential.
FNC controlled the game beautifully and executed the coaches’ game plan to perfection to run out 16–0 winners and qualify for the final against Central West.
FNC again started the final with quality possession and quickly exposed the Central West backline defence, running in two quick converted tries for a 14-0 early lead.
The Central West forwards could not compete at the breakdown and were constantly infringing. FNC accepted the referee’s invitation for a penalty goal to go to half-time 17-0 leaders.
In the second half FNC crossed for another backline try and conceded a penalty goal to finish the game as 24-3 winners and the tournament as undefeated champions.
Both major individual awards went to FNC players. Yamba’s Scott Geronimi was an absolute powerhouse in taking out the Forward of the Championship Award.
Wollongbar’s Jake McIntyre contolled play all weekend from fly-half, taking home the Back of the Championship Award.
FNC players selected in the NSW Country Representative Squad were Fletcher Patterson, Alex Brown, Rohan Napoli, Rowan Perry, Jake McIntyre and Andrew Parkes (all Wollonbar-Alstonville), Scott Geronimi (Yamba), Luke McGeary (Lismore) and Jayden Darke (Grafton).
PICTURE: The squad, standing L to R – Don Darke (Head Coach), Scott Geronimi, Dylan Spagnolo, Cameron Phillips, Rick Mitchell, Jack Williams, James Hewetson, Luke McGeary, Kurt McDonald, Rohan Napoli, Harry Manning, Matteo Cervella, Jasper Kelly, Rowan Perry, Peter Brown (Manager); Kneeling L to R – Geoff Edwards (Medic), Jake McIntyre, Vincent Quigley, Jayden Darke, Andrew Parkes, Alex Brown, Lochie Creagh, Tim Ellis, Fletcher Patterson, Matt Mortimer, Tony McIntyre (Assistant Coach).
Picture by Dave Mitchell.