Western Rams bragging rights go on the line in new Premiers Challenge

HEAD-TO-HEAD: Bathurst Panthers skipper Doug Hewitt and Forbes captain Jake Grace will go toe-to-toe next Sunday in the Western Premiers Challenge.
HEAD-TO-HEAD: Bathurst Panthers skipper Doug Hewitt and Forbes captain Jake Grace will go toe-to-toe next Sunday in the Western Premiers Challenge.

Group 10 chairman Linore Zamparini says anything less than a few wins over Group 11’s best next Sunday at Carrington Park will be disappointing.

The champions from both Western Rams group competitions will go head-to-head for the first time on September 23 in the NAB Western Premiers’ Challenge.

Bathurst Panthers will line-up as the Group 10 champions after snapping an 11-year premier league drought with a stunning 12-10 victory over Cowra.

While Forbes, after clinching a second Group 11 crown in three seasons with a 23-22 triumph over Dubbo CYMS, will represent the red and black region next Sunday.

The winning first grade side pockets $10,000.

Group 10 will host the inaugural challenge after its open representative team beat Group 11 back in May and Zamparini is hoping that inter-Western dominance continues.

“I think we match up well,” he said, with games in first grade, under 18s, under 16s and league tag.

Bathurst clubs Panthers (first grade and under 18s) and Pat’s (league tag and under 16s) will represent Zamparini in Group 10.

They’re champion sides in Group 11 for a reason and it won’t be easy.

Group 10 chairman Linore Zamparini.

Group 11’s southern sides enjoyed stellar 2018 campaigns, with Forbes emerging triumphant in first grade and under 18s while Parkes will be on deck in league tag.

Red Bend and Wellington will play off next Tuesday night at Peak Hill to represent Group 11 in the under 16s.

“Our teams will be solid and I’d be disappointed not to win. In saying that though, they’re champion sides in Group 11 for a reason and it won’t be easy,” Zamparini added.

He’s confident the concept will be well received.

“I think so … there will have been a couple of weeks off to digest the season and Group 11 is the same,” he said.

“I think people will be hungry looking for a game of football leading into the (NRL grand final).”

NAB WESTERN PREMIERS CHALLENGE SCHEDULE 

Sunday, September 23 at Carrington Park, Bathurst:

UNDER 16s – 10.30am

Bathurst St Patricks versus Red Bend or Wellington (play-off Tuesday, September 18 at Peak Hill).

LEAGUE TAG – 11.50am

Bathurst St Patricks versus Parkes Spacecats.

UNDER 18s – 1pm

Bathurst Panthers versus Forbes Magpies.

FIRST GRADE – 2.30pm

Bathurst Panthers versus Forbes Magpies.

Comments