Countdown to Mudgee Rugby League 9s begins
By SAM POTTS
The countdown is now on to the first ever local nines event, which has been dubbed the Peabody Energy Wilpinjong Coal Mudgee Rugby League 9s.
The tournament will take place at Glen Willow across the weekend of February 27 and 28.
Dragons First Grade coach and one of the tournament organisers, Tony Pascoe, said that the event is a way to “get people interested in footy again” after summer and blow the cobwebs out in a fun way.
“We had problems getting trial matches last year so we thought that this was probably the best way to get around it, to try and put something different on and get interest going again,” he said.
“We’re running it on the Auckland 9s format of 16 teams, so that way we just follow their draw and rules.
“It’s all about having some fun. Teams come here and get a bit of bonding, some fitness and there’s good prize money on offer.
“We want to make it enjoyable for families as well, so there’ll be things on for the kids and prizes such as best dressed.”
Teams booked in to play will be coming not just from the Central West area including Gulgong, Dubbo, Orange, Bathurst, and Lithgow, but also from as far afield as Port Macquarie, Moree, The Entrance, and Coonabarabran, as well from Sydney from Moore Park and Glenmore Park.
Pascoe added that having everyone coming to Mudgee for the event is sure to be a windfall set to benefit the club and the town.
“All these teams that are coming from all over the state are staying in Mudgee, and they bring the players, supporters, and families,” he said.
“It’s good for us, good for the town, good for everyone.”
Dragons president, Rob O’Connor, said that “the tournament has come from Tony and the players - Jared Robinson and Hamish Bryant have really been pushing it”.
Peabody Wilpinjong has signed on as major sponsors of the tournament, they will be joined by pub sponsor Lawson Park Hotel and pool sponsors Paragon and Oriental.
It will also be supported by Mid-Western Regional Council.