Junior Gold Cup week 2: review

by RUGBY.com.au staff

Round two of the Junior Gold Cup saw yet another weekend of exciting games take place across Australia.

There were some close scores across the board but some notable results came from Pool A.

Sydney West and Illawarra staged a 7-all draw at Campbelltown on Sunday, while Sydney North Harbour continued their winning streak in the competition by defeating Western New South Wales 18-8.

Sydney North Harbour came out strongly from the kick off and were quick to score with a series of quick second phase ball and using their classy backline scored a well-planned try to take the early lead of 5-0.

The Western NSW boys showed courage up front and the backline defended strongly. Some ill-discipline crept into the Western NSW game which saw Sydney North Harbour take advantage with strong penalties, taking the score to 11-0. Western NSW were soon to be rewarded with a fantastic intercept try by Adam Plummer which took the half time score to 11-5.

The second half proved to be an equally strong contest; the highlights being the battle up front with the forwards and the flare of both backlines, throwing the ball around in an effort to break the defence.

Sydney North Harbour continued to attack the Western try line and with a series of controlled pick and carries and a final pass out wide were rewarded with a solid try scored which was converted from the sideline. A sin bin due to an offside offence was costly to the Western side who played 40 minutes of the game with only 14 players. A fantastic penalty goal to Tight Head Prop, Nic Cushan who struck the ball as good as any goal-kicker brought the Western Boys closer to Sydney North Harbour’s score.

Despite some excellent performances, particularly in defence by Ethan Kelly, James Donato, Brodie Henerdon and Clarry Pratten, the attack was limited and they were unable to penetrate the Sydney North Harbour Defence.

Sydney North Harbour eventually cemented their win by 18 points to 8.

NSW Junior Gold Co-Ordinator, Hugh Carpenter was pleased with the competitive nature of the game.

"Both sides demonstrated excellent rugby skills. The 'Boys from the Bush' came down to give their City Rivals a game and it will be a healthy rivalry we will see develop in the years to come. “

Western New South Wales coach Mick Burgess was happy with his side’s defence.

“The boys tried really hard in defence and even though they were behind on the scoreboard, they never gave up.”

Echoing Carpenter’s comments, Coach Burgess is happy with his team’s spirit and playing ability.

“The boys are loving it. Not only are they loving the rugby and playing against quality opposition but they forming friendships with boys from other towns who they would not met if it had not been for the Junior Gold Program. They also attended the Waratahs V Force Super 15 game yesterday and met some of the Waratahs players after the game which was a massive thrill for the boys form the bush”.

Other notable results included Brisbane Purple under 17s’ convincing 35-10 win over Townsville and Hunter’s significant 45-12 win over Northern Inland.