If anyone had the right to lead the team song on Dubbo and District Junior Rugby League (DDJRL) grand final day, it was Cooper Townsend.
The St John’s Gold under 10s captain delivered one of the standout individual performances on grand final day, scoring three tries and being heavily involved in a number of others as his side dominated the decider clash with Nyngan.
It came as no surprise when the hugely exciting five-eighth was named man of the match after the clinical 40-6 win.
While Townsend was the star, hard-running back-rower Taj Parkes scored a double and was also strong throughout.
According to coach Josh Large, they’re just two Saints youngsters to keep an eye on in the future.
“There’s a handful of talents in there. There was two standouts today in Cooper Townsend and Taj Parkes but there’s also Nate Ferrari and a handful of under 9s playing in this game,” he said after the win.
“There’s a heap of kids here, who if they get a bit of luck and keep going then they will do well.”
In an incredibly mature performance for a side so young, St John’s shot out to an 18-6 lead early in the second half an after a Townsend double and one for Parkes.
Townsend’s all-round game ensured his side stayed right on top and the young Saints streaked away late in the game.
“I’m super proud,” Large said.
“Everyone says they work hard all year but I hammered these boys pretty hard and it all came together today,” he said.
“I think we only dropped the ball once. For an under 10s side, that’s pretty good.”
For the coach, it was no surprise to see such a free-flowing game.
“We drill that simple stuff into them from day one and gave them a bit of shape and got them to spread out across the field,” he said.
“As soon as they picked that up and realised the footy would come to them it all changed and they started running into space.”
Grand final day was another proud one for the St John’s club, with four more junior premierships won and added to the collection.
“It’s great. There’s good people and hard workers and you get what you put in,” Large said of the club’s success.