Narooma Devils to host Group 16 Nine-A-Side

Bob Burnside - Narooma News

On Saturday, March 19, there will be plenty of action at Smyth Oval when the Narooma Devils host all the other Group 16 rugby league sides in the annual Group 16 Nine-A Side Tournament.

The tournament will see the fastest and fittest men from each of the teams from Batemans Bay in the north, to Eden in the south and up to Bombala and Cooma, battle it out to become Group 16 Nines Champions for 2016. 

Each team has a squad of 20 players with nine on the field and five interchange players for each match. The games comprise two nine-minute halves with scoring the same except for the “bonus try” feature where a try scored under the posts is worth five points instead of four. 

There are no place kicks with drop kicks only for conversions and penalties. The extra space caused by fewer players makes the game an open, free running (and exhausting) spectacle with heaps of ball movement and long-range tries scored.

The day starts at 9am, and, depending on final numbers of teams competing, the final should be at around 3.30pm. The winning team take away $1000 while the runners-up get $500. 

There is also a team 4x100m sprint race with a football as the relay baton worth $200 to the winning team.

Last year the tournament was played at Eden and in a battle of the big cats the newly reinstated Batemans Bay Tigers defeated the Eden Tigers 12-4 in the final. Narooma came a creditable fourth on the day but are powering up for a bigger show at home this year.

The first of the Devils’ US players, Cesar Rodrigues, has arrived and in his first training run last Thursday impressed, in fact amazed, onlookers with his speed off the mark, leaving some pretty quick blokes in his dust. 

I somehow think he’s pencilled in for the relay team! He is top bloke too so make sure you come along and meet him at the Nines. Our other two US players are also due soon so it will be interesting to see what happens! It is sure to be a fantastic day of football so come along and cheer for the Devils as they try to claim the prize.


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