The strength of rugby league in the local region will be on show at Caltex Park on Saturday as the Dubbo and District Rugby League season comes to a close.
Seven different clubs will be in action on grand final day, four of those being clubs from outside of Dubbo.
St John’s will be well represented with six sides set to take the field while both the South Dubbo Raiders and Dubbo City clubs have two sides each playing on the biggest day of the year.
Nyngan will do battle with Narromine in the under 11s decider while Warren plays in the under 12s and Forbes’ Red Bend features in the under 16s battle against St John’s.
Plenty of focus will be on the under 16s match where the St John’s players are out to finish their junior league journey together against an undefeated Red Bend side.
“We’ve got a crew of young men who have been together for the majority of their junior league,” coach John Grey said.
“I think there’s four players who have played in 10 grand finals together so it’s a huge moment for them to cap off their junior era and it’s a great way to finish it off.”
While thrilled for his players to be on the big stage, Grey knows it will take something special to beat an talent-laden Red Bend side.
“Red Bend is known for being clinical,” Grey said.
“But we’ve prepared well and I’ve got the utmost faith and confidence in the boys.
“They are clinical and don’t give you much so we’ve got to be prepared to weather the storm.”
Either way the coach has been delighted to be part of the side’s development.
Grey, also part of the Dubbo CYMS first grade coaching staff in Group 11, took over last season when the youngsters were playing under 15s.
“I remember it like it was yesterday when I was 15 or 16 and I still have the utmost respect for the coaches I had then and I’m still mates with plenty of the individuals I played with,” he said.
“And I’m really proud of the effort the boys have put in this season.”
Kick-off in the under 16s decider is 5pm.
Caltex Park, Saturday
- Under 10s (9am): St John’s Maroon v St John’s Gold
- Under 11s (10.10am): Nyngan Tigers v Narromine Jets
- Under 12s (11.20am): Warren Bulldogs v St John’s
- Under 13s (12.30pm): St John’s v South Dubbo Raiders
- Under 14s (2pm): Dubbo City v South Dubbo Raiders
- Under 15s (3.30pm): St John’s v Dubbo City
- Under 16s (5pm): Red Bend v St John’s