Champs emerge from junior rugby league battle
ST JOSEPH’S walked off the rugby league battlefield victorious on Tuesday after 18 schools went to war for the Tweed Byron All Schools Rugby League title.
Pitting 600 kids across 33 teams, in under-10s and open age categories, the action was fast-paced with St Joseph’s Primary School Open A’s side downing fellow junior rugby league powerhouse Banora Point Primary in a tightly fought final which proved to be one for the ages.
After the lead swung back and forth in see-sawing action, a last-ditch run and try in the dying minutes secured an 8-7 win and the title for the St Joseph’s side, who just moments earlier, was staring down the barrel of a loss on count back if the game finished in a draw.
The result could have gone either way, with both teams deserving the title and all players able to hold their heads high.
The knock-out competition played at the South Tweed Bears’ grounds on Fraser Drive, is a staple of junior sport in the region and with such long standing, is the premier event on Tweed’s junior sporting calendar.
“It’s one of the oldest events in junior rugby league and it’s really popular,” Northern NSW junior rugby league coordinator Michael Donnelly said.
“It’s our biggest day and the kids love it.”
Titans’ players, junior rugby league scouts, officials and hundreds of supporters watched on in hot conditions throughout the day which is crucial for introducing many who may not have previously played the sport to grassroots football.
“Half the kids who are playing don’t play (for a club), so the day is used as a recruiting tool,” Donnelly said.
“So junior clubs come down and watch to hopefully get kids to our local clubs.”
St Joseph’s will now be joined by fellow category champions in Sydney when they take on winners from other regions in the hope of being crowned the best primary school sides in New South Wales.