Orange City Lions roar on grand stage to cap dominant 2018 season with premiership glory

Orange City has been the benchmark side throughout the Central West Junior Rugby Union’s under 15s premiership in 2018, and they showed exactly why on Saturday.

The junior Lions roared to victory over a bruised Dubbo Roos at Grinsted Oval, the City boys running out to a 24-0 lead in the first half before Noa Fraser and Harrison Grant put the icing on the cake with second half five-pointers to wrap up a commanding 38-5 victory at Forbes.

Grant finished the grand final with a double, his slashing five-pointer in the second half the highlight of a completely dominant performance from the Lions.

Coach George Connaughton, though, says it’s an effort he and the Orange City coaching staff has come to expect from the junior Lions.

“I do believe these guys set the benchmark this year. To provide anything less than what we did today, it wouldn’t have been fair on us or fair on the opposition,” Connaughton said.

“It was a good win. We spoke from the start about what we wanted to do and we stuck to it.

“Everyone dictated, everyone dominated. It’s hard to highlight one. If I had to pick one out, Mr Vaughan, our front-rower, he led from the front.”

Hugh Vaughan anchored a dominant Lions scrum up-front while, at the back of the pack, No.8 Fritz Jahnke Tavana proved a handful every time he touched the ball in a man of the match performance from the towering Lions back-rower.

Tavana bagged a first-half try, as did Raphael Wald, Oliver Connaughton and Grant.

“They’ve certainly worked hard for it,” Connaughton smiled.

Roos replacement half Jonathon Dixon scored late for the Dubbo club and coach Justin Smith was pleased his outfit was able to make it to grand final day, after battling a bumper injury toll throughout 2018 – one that often meant his side fielded less than 15 players on game day.

“Orange City has been the dominant side all season, we were up against it. Injuries galore for us, but we never gave up,” Smith said.

“The last two games we haven’t scored against Orange City, so to get that one was a credit to the team.

“We thought if we got first points we might have rattled City, but it wasn’t meant to be.”

  • ORANGE CITY 38 (Harrison Grant 2, Raphael Wald, Noa Fraser, Oliver Connaughton, Fritz Jahnke Tavana tries; Harry West 4 conversions) def DUBBO ROOS 5 (Jonathon Dixon try)