Dolphins win Richardson Shield
IT WAS the brightest day in FNC representative rugby union for more than 10 years.
Yesterday, the Dolphins lifted the Richardson Shield at the NSW Country Championships for the first time since 1996, then had three named in the NSW Country squad.
Scrambling off the bottom of the table after three years in the wilderness, the Dolphins won two games in less than 30 hours to claim the victory.
A 29-7 win over New England on Saturday put them into the final yesterday where they beat Central North 20-5.
Lennox Head winger Paul Crozier scored a hat-trick of tries over weekend after being a late addition to the squad.
Crozier’s Lennox club-mates Sam Stewart, Geoff Wilson and Walter Liddle all played well enough to be cast into the top echelon, with Country selection, while Harry Witt and Ben Damon were named in the shadow squad.
Coach John Jenkins thinks it is a massive victory for a team that has struggled to compete at this level.
“Winning the shield and having these blokes named in the Country squad is great in that all the other players in the region now know the opportunities that are avbailable to them if they put in the hard yards,” Jenkins said.
A lack of interest had cost FNC its place as a rugby powerhouse in recent years, but ushered in by Jenkins and his assistants Dave Graham and Dave Arthur is a new era.
“Twenty per cent of our team made the country squad this year and I expect next year we might have seven or eight make it,” Jenkins said.