SCONE Junior Rugby Union players came out firing in their first carnival at Walcha on Sunday.
It was a wet start to the season, however, the teams rallied together and showed determination.
Many players had moved up a grade and were keen to cement a place in their new squad, while others took on more of a leadership role.
The Under-6’s were not deterred by the weather, and participated in a skills session.
Everyone left soaked, soggy, however happy and with a warm sausage sizzle in hand. Teams travel north for the next gala day in Narrabri on Sunday, May 15.
Finally, the first gala day of the season arrived on Sunday. We made the trek to Walcha and had to deal with some very tough weather conditions throughout the day.
Game 1 saw us up against Gunnedah and after a slow start in the first half, the boys settled into a great rhythm.
The forwards played very tight and made great in-roads, drawing the Gunnedah defence and opening up plenty of space for the backs to display some great running out wide, giving us a very positive first up win.
Game 2 we were up against our great rivals Narrabri. This game was a hard fought battle and was typical of what we have come to expect over the years from each meeting.
The rain came down in sheets and made handling quite tricky but the boys settled into a good old fashioned forward slog out. It was a great game to watch and we were narrowly edged out 2 tries to 1.
Game 3, the last match of the day, was against Moree. With the physical challenge of the previous game we rested some boys and tested a few positional changes, this took away from the free flow of the previous games but the boys finished the day in great style with another win.
It was a great effort from the entire squad with strong performances coming from Joe Sedgwick, Nick Adkins, Bailey Park, Lochlan McClean, Jack Faulkner and Charlie Richardson.
Under-12’s coach Bob Davidson
It's good to see some things don't change. No rain for 3 months and we head to Walcha for our first Gala Day and we are hit with 43mm.
Scone Blue had a newly formed squad looking to show their wares after 5 weeks of training.
The draw saw us come up against Moree, Inverell and Armidale.
The lads opened the account strongly with a scrappy but comprehensive win over Moree.
Our new import from Merriwa, Shiv Porter, showed his ball running skills early with some great runs including some excellent short passing which lead to our first points.
The new look back line, consisting of Maxi Patterson, Nick Gallagher, Cooper Wilson, Kael, Saw, Will Nugget and Charlie Tydd, had plenty of opportunities to run the ball before the monsoon hit.
With lots of infringements around the rucks in the second half our forwards needed to play some tight football and ruck it up the middle for an extra phase or two to draw in the Moree players.
Snowball Crowther, Tommy Burnett, H Faulkner, Will Crompton and Matty Edwards did what was needed to ensure we came away with a victory, 25 - 0.
Our second game against Inverell was played in some seriously heavy rain. With a slippery ball the lads played
some great footy both in attack and defence. No better sight than Matty Edwards launching himself into the rucks and mauls coming away with a tackle that was felt back in Scone.
A massive shout out to our new players to SJRU; Shiv Porter, Kael Saw and Matty Edwards, who seemed to have made a seamless transition to Rugby Union.
A solid victory to Scone Blue. Unfortunately the wet weather was too much for Armidale and the Armidale Blues had the blues and headed home.
Under-10’s coach Angus Patterson
Warmer weather met us on top of the range for the first carnival of the 2016 season in Walcha but the threat of rain hung over early proceedings.
A light shower during the warm up for the first match against Moree softened what would have otherwise been a very hard pitch.
Scone Blue charged into the Moree side and raced away to an early lead through tries to Monty Ward-Thomas, George Patterson and Will Darling.
All three boys revelled in the wet conditions and scored multiple tries throughout the day from inside their own half.
Cormac McClean didn’t take long getting his name on the score sheet in his maiden game after coming up from the under sixes last year with a darting run through the centre of the Moree pack.
Lindsay Geary was solid in defence leading the line-up and stopping the Moree advances. The second game against Tamworth saw the heavens open up for the entire game.
Scone Blue kept the throttle down with Archie Mamone, Tom Riordan and James Miller being outstanding in their eights debut with some good runs and strong defence.
They were backed up by Jock McCosker whose running with ball in hand mesmerised the defence often carrying four or more would be tacklers up the field with him.
Great fun in the wet for the first game and many thanks to Walcha for putting on another great day.
Under 8’s coach Evan Geary
The mighty Under 8’s took two teams to Walcha for the first carnival of the season with many of the boys training for over a month. The anticipation for the first hit out was almost too much to bear.
Scone Gold started the season off with a solid win against the home side Walcha. With some great attacking runs from Archie Atkins, Laurie Roche, Ted Saunders and Andrew Crowther the scoreline kept ticking over.
The boys then backed up to play Inverell for another solid win with Hamish Davidson showing his great running and regularly palming 3 to 4 players off before been brought down.
James Hannaford continued on from last season with a solid all round game continually throwing himself into everything.
With Rory Moore and Henry Teague stepping up from the Under 6’s this year, they showed some great potential for their first full contact game.
They both displayed a great running game and will go from strength to strength as the season progresses.
The last game of the carnival was a front rowers heaven with a torrential down poor ensuring a very muddy pitch and a lot scowling faces from mothers on the sidelines.
The boys bravely faced a very determined and well-drilled Armidale but were delivered a very tough defeat.
Flynn Killman continued with his love of running the ball and improved on his defence with some great last minute tackles.
Under 8’s coach Tor Killman
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