ENDEAVOUR Oval will play host to some of the most promising rugby talent in the state this weekend when teams vying for the NSW Junior Rugby Union under 14s state championship roll into Orange on Saturday.
Teams from rugby strongholds Gordon, Randwick, the Central Coast, Warringah, the ACT and Eastwood will defy the freezing cold temperatures predicted for Orange this weekend in an attempt to bring home a state championship crown.
Central West Rugby Union chief Peter Veenstra is in charge of the rugby festivities this weekend and expects the state’s best young juniors to put on a rugby show, for those brave enough to go head-to-head with the elements of course.
“The standard at the state championships is always good,” Veenstra enthused.
Central West kick-starts its campaign against the Central Coast on Saturday morning while Randwick and Gordon face-off in the other pool A game at 9am.
Veenstra said it would be tough for the home side against traditionally strong Sydney opponents.
“It’s a case of let’s see on the weekend,” Veenstra said. “Sydney always have much bigger kids, I don’t know why, but nevertheless the Central West kids will give it their best shot.”
And temperatures tipped to plummet below zero should play into the home side’s hands.
“Absolutely. [Visiting teams will] certainly know they’re alive,” he said.
State championships from the under 10s through to under 17s are being held this long weekend around NSW. However, Orange is the only host venue outside of the Sydney basin. Narrabeen, Menai, Camden, Eastwood and Concord are being used to host the other state championships this year.
Action in Orange begins from 9am on Saturday and 9am on Sunday. The under 14s finals begin from 2pm on Sunday afternoon.
All eight grand finals, including the under 14s, will be played at TG Millner Field, Eastwood, on Monday.