Robbie Mortimer freely admits his rugby union nous isn't quite where it should be but, as it turns out, his Catherine McAuley superteam is getting him up to speed pretty quickly.
The McAuley boys took out the Chris Gangemi Shield at the end of term two, knocking off perennial champions St Mary's Dubbo 21-0 in the final.
The Dubbo school has been unbeaten in the western area since 1956, making the Orange school's commanding shut-out win at Endeavour Oval all the more impressive.
Mortimer's McAuley outfit will now head to renowned rugby union school St Joseph's College at Hunters Hill to play in the state final, where George Tancred, Seth Vardenaga, Knox Gibson, Jackson Rodwell, Baxter Cook, Bailey Gardiner, Caiden Hoy, Taj Jordan, Riley Baird, Tomma Tancred, Drew Scott, Akol Akon and Chayse King will get to mix it with some of the best primary school-aged rugby union players in NSW.
And Mortimer is confident the team will be up to the task.
"We've got a lot of boys that are very skillful and they're a really competitive bunch of boys which is great," he said, a lot of the team more familiar with rugby league than union, much like their coach.
"I knew we had a handy team but wasn't sure how we'd go in rugby union ... there's a couple that play with City and Emus on the weekend and they taught me a thing or two about the breakdown," he laughed.
"They were coaching themselves for a while."
Mortimer was ably assisted by Mark Sheridan during the Gangemi Shield finals and the duo is confident the Catherine McAuley team will continue to improve ahead of their next assignment.
I think them being tough little country kids, I wouldn't be surprised if teams take us lightly and we end up turning a few heads.Catherine McAuley coach Rob Mortimer
Mortimer says it'll be a great experience for the Orange students to play on the same field current and former Wallabies like Kurtley Beale and Matt Burke have both graced.
"I'm really, really excited for the boys to be able to experience the big smoke and play against new teams that'll probably have a different style of rugby to the one we're used to," Mortimer added.
"I think them being tough little country kids, I wouldn't be surprised if teams take us lightly and we end up turning a few heads. That's the plan."
The Catherine McAuley rugby union side travels to Sydney for the state leg of the competition on Monday August 5.
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