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Colts Down to Central North in Drama Filled Match

illawarriors u20  logoIn a drama filled NRMA Colts Shield Final at the NSW Country Championships in Mudgee on Sunday, Illawarra were very unlucky to go down 10 – 16 to rivals Central North. The Kookaburras posted 2 tries and 2 penalty goals to go to the break with a 16 – 3 lead. Illawarras only first half points came from a penalty goal by Ryan Schoupp. In a sensational incident 5 minutes before half time, both sides lost players to the sin bin and Illawarra had a player sent off.

Illawarra fullback David Sheridan, who was filling in at halfback behind a ruck was taken out by an offside Central North player. As both players scuffled on the ground several other players became involved in an unsavory melee which resulted in Referee Simon Ashworth sending off Illawarras flanker Ben Robinson for punching and then sin binning Sheridan and Kookaburras five eight Zeb Buchanan.

The second half was four minutes old when Illawarra No. 8, Kieran Bonin went to ground after a ruck with a neck injury. There was concern shown for Kieran’s condition as a Doctor was called onto the ground to tend to him. As a precaution play was suspended as Kieran was loaded onto a special stretcher and transported by ambulance to hospital for further assessment of the injury. There was an extensive delay with the match resuming some 20 minutes later.

After the resumption Illawarra dominated the match applying extensive pressure to the Central North defense. With five minutes remaining the Kookaburras were reduced to 14 players with Tom Vincent being sin binned for repeated infringements. Illawarra immediately responded with a try to Sheridan, converted by Schoupp to get back in the game at 10 – 16. In the closing minutes of the game Illawarra pressed the Central North line and with seconds remaining crossed the line but were unable to ground the ball to snatch victory.

The loss means that the Illawarra Colts will remain in the lower tier of the Country Colts Championships for at least another year.

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