The Narrabri Junior Rugby Club hosted its 2020 junior carnival on Sunday.

Below are the coaches’ reports from the day:


The squealers had a square up against the Moree Poddy calves at Sunday’s carnival and it was in drizzly conditions that the two teams gathered. After a super intensive pre-game training run the team gathered in a make shift change room for a Churchill like pep talk from former Blue Boar greats Phil Eather and Jack Findley. It was time! The team doctor unfortunately ruled Joey Campbell out of the fixture moments before kick off, like his father years before Joey’s hamstring was pulled on the way back to the Coles checkout from the lolly section, we wish him a speedy recovery. The game had barely started when Zeb Carolan crossed the line for the first of his four tries. Aiden Eather and Seamus Conaty tackled all day and both got some meat. Harry Crossing and Byron Findley did all the hard yards up the middle and they both scored length of the field tries. It had to be said Moree’s gun breakaway Tatafu Folau was everywhere all day and if it wasn’t for the dominant defence shown by Gus Booby and John McMahon the game could have gotten away from the brave, courageous and bold little pigs. And of course they both scored spectacular tries.


The under-8s Piglets lined up on Sunday afternoon in the misty rain for their first carnival of the year. Full of nerves and excitement (Piglets and parents alike) they played three hard games. Coached by under-16s players Don Watkins and William Ford, the team came out hard against a Tamworth/ Inverell crew, fell off against a hungry Coonabarabran but fired up for the final game against Moree. Tommy Eather (one of the youngest and smallest players) gave everyone a lesson in tackling as he threw himself at players twice his size. Lyla Watkins, also in her first outing for the Boars, spent the initial games sizing up her opposition before launching herself into the Moree opposition as her confidence grew. Lucy Booby also took on the Moree crowd with some rampaging runs that resulted in her first try. Freddy Ferris ran a marathon as he sprinted from side to side in cover defence and Walter Read pulled off some cracking defensive tackles close to his line. Jonty O’Connor scored one of the epic tries as he danced down the sideline dodging multiple cover tackles to dive over in the corner. Chris Welsh launched himself into every ruck, tackle and line break as he racked up some impressive yards. Angus Irwin was solid in the ruck showing everyone how to T-rex and defend the ball. An elbow to the nose barely slowed him down as he shook it off and bounced back into the fray. Archie Greenaway was always in the thick of the battle hunting for the ball while Archie Hunt showed a wicked fend as he bulldozed his way down the paddock. Jimmy showed off his speed with a couple of sweeping runs and threw in some solid tackles. Bill McMahon was all over the field as he swarmed into the rucks and gained some good yards with hard running. Darby Cameron showed all the flair he had last year as he crashed the ball up constantly then got back to help in defence. Watching from the sideline the most exciting thing to see was the growing confidence of all the players and the beginnings of another classic Blue Boar team.


It was a great first carnival for the Narrabri under-10 Blue Boars at Narrabri with three good games of football with 20 kids playing against Inverell, Coonabarabran and the old foe Moree. We would firstly like to thank all parents that obeyed the COVID-19 rules with everyone doing the right thing. All kids got plenty of time on the field across the three matches, with the last game showing some pretty weary legs after a long time with very little sport. The highlight of the day was the all-girls front row in the second half of the Moree game with Isabella Chappell, Maltilda Watkins and Edwina Keft packing in to what must be said, the toughest positions on the rugby field. The under-10s have six girls playing including the ones mentioned and Emily Simpson, Millie Crossing and Lola Barrett which highlights the continued involvement of girls in rugby from the younger age groups all the way through to the open girls team at Narrabri. Many kids debuted for the under-10s on Sunday which is always a challenge but all played good football with the likes of Percy Hayes, Walter Cameron, Max Booby, Angus Read, Charlie Croaker and Tom Lilliebridge having a fun day. The stalwarts of the under-10s Hunter Barrett, Nick Ford, Lachie Coffey, Gus Ford, the Roth boys, James Pass, Tommy Shields and Will Smith all played very well and have improved their skills from last year and grown a bit. All are looking forward to the Inverell carnival this coming Sunday.


Sunday’s home carnival saw 22 Narrabri under-12 players front up for the home carnival to kick off the rugby season. Seven players merged with Quirindi for the day in a great show of respect to see that club take the field – Toby Hayes, Will Clarke, Neil Kennedy, Max Vogel, Oscar Crockett, George Barton and Charlie Haire. The first game saw Narrabri take on Quirindi in a mate against mate battle. The scene was set at the start of the day’s play with a great chase from the kick-off and a classic front on low tackle from Pat Welsh on the big Lions ball carrier saw them on the back foot. A turnover saw the Blue Boars string together eight phases finishing with a try leaving the coaching staff and spectator gallery stunned. The hybrid Quirindi team fought back with a couple of good runs and Maori sidesteps from Oscar and Max against their own team mates. Some fatigue set in among Blue Boars in the second half with some lazy cleanouts and lose carries. A pleasing result with players showing good ball movement in a free-flowing contest. The second game against Tamworth and former Boar Emmet Hall was a much improved display in the cleanout with the boars showing way too much class across the park in attack and defence. No real standouts in his match with all players performing to a high standard. Tries to Gabe O’Connor, Coff, Baxter, Teddie Haire, Tim Etheridge and Cooper sealing the win over the outgunned tricolours. The final match against a huge Inverell team had the players on edge and coach Fielder left the team knowing that a flogging was imminent if players rested on the laurels after earlier wins. Very little between the two teams with George Wall and Inverell’s Zippy keeping the visitors in the hunt with individual tries against the run of play. To the Boars’ credit, they kept pace with their more fancied opponents with organised and committed defence and team work in attack to level on tries scored, but pipped out the highlanders on an extra conversion to seal the win. Great performances across the park with form makeovers from Bailey Cory, Jake Hunt, Christian Roth and a special mention for stellar club debuts from Olivia Shields, Ted Haire and Charlie Burn. It was a great start to 2020 season for the under-12s.

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