The CSU NSW Country Eagles are looking to replicate their highly successful 2014 campaign in last years’ inaugural National Rugby Championships (NRC). Coach Darren Coleman was happy with his team’s performance, defying the expectations of those outside the club.
“We probably overachieved to what some people thought," said Coleman. "But I know the coaching staff and players were always competitive and playoffs is something you always shoot for. Now I guess the challenge towards us, is to go the next step this year coming up.”
The CSU NSW Country Eagles reached the Semi-Finals, losing to eventual winners Brisbane City.
With a competition model primed to foster and develop rising young talent within the Rugby pool, Coleman believes the NRC is going to continue to provide the necessary avenue for club players to play at this higher level.
“There’s a clear pathway for them, and we had two or three boys last year that got some real good game time with the Eagles on the back of their Cockatoos and club performances. So we want to keep that pathway strong and open and continue to build.”
The NRC was not without its challenges in 2014, starting a brand new competition from scratch, getting crowds to the ground and big name players, but it was a really great start which Coleman believes is only going to get better.
“I think it was just the tip of the iceberg year one and I think the ARU would agree that putting a lot more resources into it, everyone is a lot better organized, a lot more time to get their infrastructure in place. So I think it will go from strength to strength.”
On the back of his NRC success last year, Coleman is keen to maintain a similar side this season whilst looking at taking on some up and coming players as well.
“We’d definitely like to keep the core of our squad, whether there’s some other new country boys that are around in the Shute Shield, there will be some new undoubted talent pop up at the cockatoo level, so yeah we’ll have our net cast far and wide.
The CSU NSW Country Eagles kick off their season when they take on the Greater Sydney Rams in their opening match at Merrylands RSL Park in Sydney at 3:00pm on Saturday 22 August.