Catherine McAuley Catholic Primary School produced an impressive effort at Endeavour Oval on Thursday, emerging victorious from the NSW Rugby Primary Schools Sevens Orange Gala Day and progressing through to the regional final in the process.
If Catherine McAuley wins through the regional finals, also at Orange later in the season, the school will earn the chance to play on Allianz Stadium before a NSW Waratahs game.
After charging through the preliminary stages and then edging Kinross Wolaroi School in the semi-final, Catherine McAuley downed a star-studded St Mary’s Catholic Primary School side 15-5 in Thursday’s decider.
“Catherine McAuley played some really great rugby,” NSW Rugby central west development officer Jarrod Simpson said.
“They had a few really skillful players out there and they were really willing to spin it wide and use their pace too, and their forwards really built a great platform.
“St Mary’s did a great job throughout the day as well, so did all the sides actually. It’s fantastic to see so many of these schools and kids enjoying their rugby and having fun, but also playing really well too.
“There wasn’t a lot of instruction needed from us, they’re aware of what they’re doing game-wise which is great.”
St Mary’s defeated Orange Public School in a thrilling semi-final to qualify for the decider, Johannes Logan scoring a length-of-the-field try to seal the win on full-time.
Simpson also said there’s definitely scope for a girls’ tournament in Orange too, much like the one Forbes hosted earlier in the week.
“Obviously that relies on schools nominating girls’ teams but we’d absolutely love to see that in place in the future, so we’d encourage all the schools to nominate,” he said.
“Holy Family Parkes won through from the girls’ section of the Forbes gala day, which was a big success too.”
Simpson also made special mention of James Sheahan Catholic High School’s contingent of referees who officiated the day, as part of a program initiated at the school by teachers Tim Mortimer and Nathan Short.
“They did a great job, everyone at the ground was full of praise for them and it’s great to see that kind of thing happening at schools,” Simpson said.
“They’re all going through the Refereeing Kids Rugby program and this was part of the practical parts of their development.”
Bletchington and Orange Small Schools also competed.