DAVID and Goliath will go head-to-head today at Wade Park when Orange High School hosts defending champions Chifley College in the quarter-finals of the Buckley Shield.
Springing from the rich rugby league nursery of Mount Druitt in Sydney’s western suburbs, Chifley College rose to Buckley Shield supremacy last year when it accounted for Leumeah High School 40-10 in the 2013 final of the NSW Combined High Schools under 14 boys title in 2013.
That title defence goes on the line today when Chifley College travels to Orange to clash with a side that’s spent at least the last decade in the Buckley Shield abyss.
Fully aware his under 14s team is up against it against the powerful Sydney West champions, coach Ben Callaway is still confident OHS can at least match it with Chifley from 1.30pm today.
“They’re a chance of winning, I think they are,” Callaway said of his team.
“But this, by far, will be their toughest game.
“I’d imagine they’ll be up against a big team. They’ll have a heap of kids to choose from being a college as opposed to just a standard high school.”
Just getting to the final eight stage of the knockout - a tournament that starts with 280 schools from across NSW - is an achievement in itself.
Beginning with a win over Canobolas Rural Technology High School in round one, OHS then knocked off Cowra and Bathurst high schools in rounds two and three respectively to claim the Western Region title.
Orange then asserted its Western dominance over Riverina counterparts, Wagga’s Kooringal High School, in the final 16.
Now in the final eight, the challenge awaiting couldn’t be more daunting.
“They beat Farrar Ag College last start and they’re pretty renowned for their league up there,” Callaway said of the assignment OHS faces.
“We’ve got a pretty decent forward pack with some decent boys in there. They’ve been strong through all four games.
“Also Nathan Swain at fullback, he’s the captain of the team and he’s been awesome so far.”
It’s been a big year for OHS rugby league, with both under 14s and open sides claiming the CHS Western Region titles.
Unfortunately for the school’s open outfit, they lost in the final 16 of the University Shield earlier this month.
“It’s massive,” Callaway added.
Today’s game begins at 1.30pm at Wade Park.