Narrabri Junior Rugby Club will be represented by four teams at this Friday’s North West Regional Youth Rugby grand final evening in Tamworth.
The under-14s and under-16s boys’ teams will both play in their respective competitions’ plate finals following semi-final victories under lights last Friday.
The under-16s boys defeated the Blue Boars’ old rivals Moree Bulls 22-15 at Dangar Park, while the under-14s boys downed Inverell 24-14 in Moree.
The 14s will play against Calrossy in the decider and the 16s will also meet Calrossy in its final.
The club’s girls’ teams played their semi-finals series matches in Gunnedah on Friday.
The Narrabri under-14s team and under-16 teams qualified for the grand final plate series for those competitions which will be played this Friday.
At Dangar Park on Friday night, the junior Blue Boars went head-to-head with Moree for the third time in the under-16s competition and the pair produced a memorable match.
The first time the sides met they played out a 24-all draw at Dangar Park in round one, which was followed by a 24-19 Narrabri win at Weebolla Oval in round four.
The semi-final clash was another arm wrestle in which both sides defended well and worked hard to earn their points.
Neither side was able to get over the other’s tryline during the first 25 minutes of the match as both teams stood up time and time again in defence.
With 10 minutes left to play in the first 30-minute half , the Blue Boars finally turned field possession into points when a raid down the left-hand side and a strong maul from the hosts saw Daniel McMillan force his way over.
Four minutes later, the hosts found themselves in the same position but this time switched it up, passing out of the ruck to Sid Harvey who fooled the defensive line with an explosive step 10 metres out from the tryline before running through a hole and diving over the stripe.
Both of those conversions were missed by Bernard O’Connor, one of which struck the post, which saw the hosts take a 10-0 lead.
Moments after Narrabri scored its second try, Moree turned defence, deep inside its own half, into attack and made the most of its opportunity when it went over in the left corner for a try which was not converted.
That made the score 10-5 with 90 seconds left to play before the break.
Early in the second stanza, the junior Blue Boars got on the attack early and set up camp just in front of Moree’s tryline but the hosts were held up.
However, Narrabri would not be denied from the first phase after the scrum as the hosts spread the ball from right to left through several sets of hands, finding Ashton Smith on the left edge who stepped inside and ran over in between the posts.
Bernard O’Connor converted from in front to put the junior Blue Boars ahead 17-5.
The score quickly became 17-10 when the visitors kicked upfield from 10 metres inside its own half which the team’s right winger ran onto to pick up the loose ball and dive over into the right corner.
With eight minutes to go, Moree scored its third try of the contest but could not level the score at 17-all as it missed the conversion which kept Narrabri in front by two.
With two minutes remaining, the home side sealed the deal, spreading the ball from the left edge to the right following a scrum.
The Narrabri Junior Rugby Club’s under-16s side has downed old rivals Moree Bulls 22-15 in the North West Rugby Youth…
The ball was passed by Bernard O’Connor out of the scrum to Sid Harvey then onto Ashton Smith then onto the try-scorer Brock Mallows who went over in the corner to make the final score 22-15.
Narrabri Junior Rugby Club’s under-16s captain Ashton Smith said that he was proud of his team’s effort on the night.
“We played good, the boys dug deep right ‘til the end,” Ashton said.
“We didn’t slack off one bit and went all the way to full time.
“When Moree got the third try the boys had their heads down but we knew that if we were going to win we needed to keep ourselves together and pull through.
“Then that fourth try, couldn’t have asked for anything better.”
When asked what Narrabri could expect from the junior Blue Boars in the plate decider Ashton’s reply was short and simple: “Nothing but hard hits and hard runs,” the skipper said.To order photos from this page click here