Northerners end rivals' run
GROUP One turned the tables on its Group Nine arch rivals to win the NSW Country Rugby League Under-16 championship at Muswellbrook last weekend - setting a busy schedule for six of its players in the process.
Just 12 months after the southern NSW team beat the same Group One team in the Under-15 Country titles final at Dubbo, the Chris Binge-trained northern team made up for lost time with a 20-16 win, after leading 10-6 at half-time.
It was a fitting reward for the Group One side, which dominated the Northern NSW Regional Country Championships at Port Macquarie last month, beating Newcastle, Maitland, Group Four and Group 18 to reach the final.
Forwards again played a key role in the Group One win at the weekend with front-rowers Damian Sironen and Justin Parker, second rower Branston Brewer-Charles and lock Paul Carter later named with centres Jirra Breckenridge and Chris Binge jnr in the Northern NSW team beaten 22-20 by Southern NSW in an Under-16 selection trial 48 hours later.
However, the northern side went into Monday's trials without Chris, who was forced to withdraw from the team because of commitments at the Combined Catholic Colleges Under-18 Australian championships in Darwin.
After Monday's game, Damian, Jirra and Paul were named in the NSW Country team to play a quad series in Queensland on July 19.
“It's been an outstanding effort and they rightly deserved the country title,” Group One Junior Rugby League President Rick Lennon said.
“The effort they've put in under Chris (Binge snr) since November has simply been outstanding.”