Newcastle and Coast Share Spoils in Clusters
Newcastle and Central Coast have shared the spoils in the Under 13/14's Cluster held at Harker Oval in Newcastle.
After a postponement from its original scheduling in May the weather couldn't have been kinder with the sun beaming down giving us a perfect winter's day for rugby league and the players took full advantage of the conditions to give the healthy crowd plenty of excitement across all 6 matches.
The host's Newcastle took on Maitland in the opening match of the day but the visiting Coalfield's boys spoilt the host's party with an 8 points to 0 opening victory in the Under 13's age group.
Maitland made the dream start look perfect when they come from 12 points down to run down the Central Coast in their first Under 14's match of the tournament. The Central Coast boys were the better side for much of the match but with an increasing error count gifted Maitland some much needed field possession and they were good enough to take full advantage. A try wide out to Jackson Henderson got the Miners to within striking distance and when the Coast give away a penalty and possession to Maitland inside the last minute the scene was set for unlikely victory. Greta Branxton's Sam Apthorpe stepped up to be the savious as he crashed over next to the sticks to gain an all important two tournament points for his team.
The Coast turned the tables on Maitland in match three of the day convincingly accounting for the Miners by 34 points to 8. A dominant first half set up victory and they well and truly went on with it the second half to all but set up an over all win in the Under 14's Cluster. A double to Rhys Kearns from Woy Woy was a clear highlight as the big front rower proved too hard to handle in a powerful display up front.
The victory obviously sparked something within the Coast camp with the Under 14's upsetting favourites Newcastle with a field goal 4 minutes from full time. The 17 points to 16 wasn't going to be enough to secure the Coast the title but it sure did set up a mouth watering final match between Newcastle and Maitland. With very little points differential between all three sides Newcastle needed to win by a mere 2 points or more to snatch the title from Maitland and snatch the title they did.
Newcastle were far too good in the final match with big Tevita Pangai causing havoc for the Maitland defensive line. In the day's best individual performance Tevita scored a try and set up two more as Newcastle entertained for the full 50 minutes on their way to claiming the Under 14's Cluster.
The Central Coast won both their Under 13's matches to take the other trophy for the day and is the seconf year in a row that they have claimed the Under 13's title.
More information on all matches along with photos from the day will be available shortly...