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Central West claims Country Double

Central West has claimed the two Tier 1 major trophies at the 2014 NRMA NSW Country Rugby Union Championships which were played at Mudgee.

The Blue Bulls took out the Caldwell Cup with a resounding 36 – 14 victory over Newcastle Hunter in the Seniors, while the Young Bulls claimed the Rowlands Colts Cup with a hard fought 15 – 5 win over the Central Coast.

The Caldwell Cup final opened in sensational fashion with Central West crossing for three converted tries in the first fifteen minutes to go out to a twenty one point lead. This proved to be the total of the scoring in the first half, but the healthy crowd was treated to exciting attractive rugby with both teams ripping into one another in both attack and defence for the remainder of the half.

Newcastle Hunter came out firing in the second half and posted a converted try in the opening minutes, and then basically set up camp in Central West’s half for the next fifteen minutes. The Blue Bulls defence at times was stretched to the limit, but it held, even if at times with last ditched tackles which saw attackers bundled into touch just short of the line.

After weathering the onslaught Central West were the next to score and took their points tally out to twenty nine with a penalty goal and try, before the Novocastrians hit back with a converted try to close the gap to 29 – 14. A converted try in the final minutes by the Blue Bulls rounded out the scoring, and the Caldwell Cup was heading west for the first time since 2003.

The Rowlands Colts Cup again saw the Central West prevail when they ground out a solid win over a young and very committed Central Coast. The 15 – 5 score line indicates the closeness of the match, and the result wasn’t determined until the final minutes when the Central West scored their third try to wrap up the match.

The Central Coast claimed the Richardson Shield with a come from behind 19 – 15 victory over an unlucky Far North Coast. The Dolphins lead for the majority of the match and scored two tries to one, but an intercept try and a radar goal kicking performance kept the Central Coast in the match and ultimately proved the difference in the result.

Central North claimed the NRMA Colts Shield when they outlasted a fast finishing Illawarra to clinch the title 16 – 10. The Kookaburras dominated from the start and went out to a sixteen point lead before the Illawarriors posted a penalty goal which saw the teams go to the break with the score at 16 – 3. Central North continued to dominate the second half, but midway through the half a serious injury halted play for a lengthy period of time until the player was treated and removed from the field of play. On the resumption Illawarra took control of the play and very quickly closed the score line to 16 – 10, and then went about trying to post the winning score. In the end solid defence from Central North kept Illawarra at bay, and the NRMA Shield was heading to the north west of the state.

In the Senior play off matches, Illawarra dominated an injury depleted Central North 43 – 8, while New England had to work hard to eventually defeat Mid North Coast 20 – 7.

The Colts play offs resulted in two lopsided score lines, with Newcastle Hunter running in nine tries to defeat Far North Coast 53 – 0 and New England accounting for Mid North Coast 40 – 7.

The Glen Willow Regional Sports Complex proved to be an excellent venue to host the NRMA NSW Country Rugby Union Championships, and the Mudgee Rugby Club is to be congratulated on the organisation of the event.

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