Illawarra Agonisingly Close

Finals Time in Junior Gold Cup

After the completion of the Round 6 matches on the weekend the finalists have all been decided. With the last round matches going as expected, the interstate teams have fared very well in the Tournaments’ first year.

In the Under 15’s Victoria and ACT will clash in Melbourne with Brisbane Purple and Brisbane Yellow coming together in Brisbane.

The Under 17’s sees Victoria up against Sydney North West, also in Melbourne whilst the other match will be played in Perth between Western Australia and Brisbane Purple. All pools had similarities in the finishing order with regional areas less competitive than their city opponents.

On the local front our Illawarra teams finished their campaign with another couple of disappointing results against Central Coast at WIN Stadium. This time it was the Under 15’s side that had to endure a last minute try to see victory taken from their grasp.

After conceding early tries in the game the boys fought back to go to the break behind 7 – 17. They came out in the second half and took control of the match to fight back and take the lead at 22 – 17 with just minutes to go.

Heartbreakingly though with less than 2 minutes left on the clock Central Coast crossed for a converted try to pinch the lead back 24 – 22. The Illawarra boys threw everything they had at their rivals but the visitors defense held out several spirited raids to take the match.

Illawarra’s points came from one of the players of the Tournament, Bowral’s Escher Leduc, who scored another try along with Joseph Dickson and Bailey Antrobus. Matthew Dunk added a conversion and Finn Loiterton kicked a conversion and a penalty goal.

In a dour Under 17 match Illawarra conceded 2 first half tries in a disappointing performance to finally go down 0 – 22. It’s been a very frustrating tournament for the Under 17’s with the side never quite getting into the rhythm of the matches. A draw against Sydney West and a last minute loss to Western NSW in Orange were the sides best performances but alas victory just eluded them.

The five month Junior Gold Program, culminating in the JGC Tournament has been a wonderful experience for all concerned. Many lessons have been learned I’m sure and the experience will help all participants move forward in their Rugby Careers. All our best wishes go to the 2014 finalists as we look forward to the Junior Gold Cup 2015.