WESTERN NSW has recorded its first two victories of the nation-wide Junior Gold Cup tournament, defeating Illawarra’s under 15s and under 17s at Endeavour Oval on Sunday.
Backing up following tough losses to the Central Coast and Sydney North in the tournament’s opening rounds, Western NSW regrouped to win the under 15s 33-17 and, impressively, come from behind to claim an 18-17 victory in the under 17s.
Down 17-13, the home side scored late in the contest to clinch the one-point victory and cap a strong third round for the region.
Western now has a week off before playing Sydney West in their next game at St Stanislaus College, Bathurst.
Australian Rugby Union western region development manager Mark Debrincat says Western NSW will enjoy the week off before a potentially bruising clash with the might of Sydney West.
“They’ll be strong,” Debrincat said of his group’s next opponents.
“They had a 7-all draw last week versus Illawarra and they had a strong side as well.
“That’s the thing with the Junior Gold Cup, it’s open every week. It’s always close.”
Debrincat was impressed with the likes of Orange’s Charlie Cooper and Dubbo’s Nick Cushion in the under 17s.
Wellington’s Jakob Styles was a stand-out in the under 15s, scoring a hat-trick, while a brace from Bathurst’s Felix Quinn helped the under 15s bring up its 16-point win over Illawarra.