Dubbo College will advance to the finals day of the Country Cup in Parkes next month after taking out the opens division of the Dubbo carnival on Wednesday.
In fact, Dubbo teams dominated the entire carnival, with sides progressing in all four events played on the day.
With only three teams nominated, officials elected to make the open boys a first-past-the-post system, and the College steamed to top spot with big wins over local rivals St Johns College, and James Sheahan Catholic College from Orange.
That left St Johns and James Sheahan in a 30-minute battle to avoid the wooden spoon, which the visitiors won 12-4 courtesy of classy tries to Ethan Monk and Josh Piper.
Connor Crain was the sole try-scorer for St Johns.
The College was also successful in the girls league tag competition, beating Red Bend College from Forbes 16-10 in the final after beating James Sheahan in the game before the decider.
St Johns College, while falling short in the opens, did enjoy some success with their under-13s and under-15s sides progressing through to the finals on June 7.
NRL Game Development Officer Dave Elvy said the Dubbo carnival was a big success, especially in the league tag division.
“It was a long day of footy but that standard around the grounds was good from what I was told,” he said.
“I spent my day at the league tag but the other development officers said the quality was high and games were played in the right spirit as well. Because of other school competitions we always have about three or four teams in the boys opens, but that was countered by having 10 teams in the league tag.
“It’s getting massive at Group 10 and Group 11 level, and that is filtering through to school level as well, which is great to see.”
With the finalists from the Dubbo carnival decided, attention now turns to Bathurst next Wednesday for that city’s qualifiers.
Schools from the host city as well as some others from the eastern parts of the region will vie for a spot against the four Dubbo teams in Parkes.
“We’ll have the Bathurst schools as well as Orange High and Canobolas High, and we might even get Red Bend and Forbes High over for a couple of divisions they couldn’t play in today. It will be another big day, that’s for sure,” Elvy said.