The focus of junior club Rep rugby moved to Grantham Reserve over the weekend of 6/7 July - the wet weather forcing a late change of venue and some slight draw modifications.
But despite these changes the carnival went off without a hitch and we thank Teki Tuipulotu and Blacktown Scorpions Junior Rugby Club for hosting us at such short notice and doing a wonderful job.
The NSW Positive Rugby Foundation 2019 Junior Regionals are first and foremost a "Selection tournament". The primary function for this tournament is to facilitate the selection of both Sydney and NSW Country teams which will then go on to play at the NSW Positive Rugby Foundation City vs Country Carnival in Newcastle on Aug 4th. Coaches and Managers are advised at the start that their primary focus should be showcasing their players in front of the selectors - the winning coaches will be the ones that get the most players selected thru to higher honours rather than who won the most games.
Don't get me wrong winning is still good and definitely helps selection chances, but it is not the only thing. For example a team that doesn't use their bench and plays the starting XV the whole time might win more games but get less players thru to the next level as selectors haven't seen enough of all their players on the field. Plus we want to make sure all players are getting ample time to be seen anyway.
Often the selectors will ask coaches if they can see a player in another position and our coaches are only to happy to help out and hopefully enhance that players chance at getting further selections. That is our ethos and it has been getting better and better each year.
Here is a wrap of the weekend games
The Sydney coaches selected a squad of about 40 at the State Champs - they ran a couple of mass training sessions before splitting the team into Red and Blue teams to play-off for spots in the final Sydney U14s. From this game they then withdrew some players and formed a Sydney Select XV to play the NSW Country U14s (which were selected at Country Champs earlier in the year)
The Metro Western Zone came thru all the round robin games undefeated. With a strong base of players from the State Championship winning Penrith team and a coaching team including Daniel Smith (Parra) and Jordon Pond (Hunters Hill) they were probably the favoured team going into the Regionals. But they still had some sharp competition and the mixed results of all the other teams showed that there was barely a struck match between them.
The format for the Under 16s changed this year as Sydney only selected two teams (Red and Blue) and NSW Country one team. To make up the fourth team for the round robin we formed a NSWJRU Presidents XV - this team was chosen after the Sydney and NSW Country teams were chosen and was a Barbarian mix of both Sydney and Country players. It continued our tradition of providing a sort of second chance selection into a Barbarians team for players that were overlooked initially.
And as if to justify this thought process the Presidents XV performed admirably going through undefeated. But it is worth noting that every game in this age group had a winning/losing margin of FIVE points or less. So it shows the competition was very even and the process is working well.
The Sydney and NSW Country teams (alongside NSW Schools U16s) will be announce today and posted on this website - Good luck to all
There are always plenty of people to thank for helping get an event like this up and running - especially with the weather. Many thanks to Teki Tuipulotu and his team from for hosting us most graciously.Thanks to Alex Richards and his team of hard working referees - couldn't do it without you guys.
Thanks to the NSW Juniors committee, particularly Luke McCormack, Kym Knight, Kate Page, and Kerry Brady. Plus to our 1st Aider Ben Sanders - well done mate.
And lastly to all the selectors, coaches, trainers, parents and players - you are all a big part of what makes our game great & enable fantastic tournaments like this to thrive. Thank you
A very proud President signing off.