It may be a week earlier than everyone had hoped, but there’s still a huge amount of excitement around Saturday’s all-Dubbo Central West Junior Rugby Union under 15s preliminary final.
The Dubbo Roos Red won its minor semi last weekend while the Roos Blue side was handed a heavy loss by a supremely talented Orange City outfit.
That means the two Roos outfits go head-to-head at Wellington this weekend, with even more than a grand final place on the line.
“There’s some good talk around and we’re expecting a rather good crowd,” 15s Blue coach Justin Smith said.
“As it should be, it’s not very often you get Red versus Blue in a preliminary final so there’s a lot of excitement.
“Also, we’re off to New Zealand at the end of September and early October as a group so whoever goes there can have bragging rights.”
Smith’s Blue side suffered a heavy 48-10 loss to a rampant City side on Saturday, the match made more difficult by the wet conditions at Apex Oval.
Roos Blue is the only side to have defeated City this season but the past two matches have resulted in comfortable wins for the Lions cubs.
“I looked back at the game notes and we dominated for 21 minutes of the 50,” Smith said.
“There was nine minutes at the start before City scored against the run of play then there was a 12 minute period in the second half where we scored a couple of tries.
“We dominated there but when City dominate they’re at another level.”
The Red team had a much more enjoyable day, downing Mudgee to keep its season alive.
“We’re the only team to beat City but the other team to really push them was the Reds,” Smith said.
“They are the form team at the moment … they’ve played all the top four sides in the past four weeks so that’s a perfect preparation.”
Elsewhere for the Dubbo Junior Rugby Union Club on Saturday, the under 13s Blue side won its major semi-final to move straight through to the grand final while the under 17s Red side saw its season ended by Orange Emus, going 26-16.
The 13s Blue side has been a powerhouse all year, losing just twice during its run to the finals.
On Saturday the Jone Raidaveta-coached side proved far too good for Mudgee Blue and ran out 40-27 victors, Will Cuthill scoring a double.
“We train as the same oval so I get to peak over and watch them train,” Smith said of the 13s.
“We don’t get to see them play much but it’s certainly a thrill to know when you run out the 13s Blues have already softened up the opposition from a club point of view.
“It’s great to see them perform so well.”
The 13s side will meet either Mudgee Blue or the compose Cowra/Canowindra side in the grand final.