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By NSWRU Media Unit
The state’s up and coming rugby stars have proved themselves the best in Australia, taking victory at the Primary Schools Sports Association National Championships in Melbourne at the weekend.
Selected from over 250 youngsters who took part in the PSSA State Carnival held in Armidale last month, the 22-strong squad drawn from 20 schools across the state took part in a number of weekend camps in preparation for the National Championships. Their determination and enthusiasm paid off, with handsome victories against ACT (49-5) and South Australia (88-0) securing their passage to the Grand Final, where they came from behind to record an emphatic 48-12 win over Victoria.
Despite going 12-0 down after just 10 minutes, the youngsters kept their composure to score 22 unanswered points and give them a 10-point advantage at the break, before racking up another 26 without reply in the second half. Opening the scoring was Player of the Tournament Finn Carlin from Junction Public School, whose hat trick accounted for three of the side’s eight try haul, with Dylan Lucas scoring a double with two very skilful efforts and hard running Players’ Player Jordan Te Wani and tenacious Daniel Darwall each crossing. A late effort from Tadgh Murphy sealed an impressive 48-12 victory for NSW and saw them retain the Phil Waugh Shield (national title) to add to the Trevor Allen Shield awarded to the winner of matches between NSW and ACT.
Having met HSBC Waratahs’ flanker Pat McCutcheon and former Wallabies and Waratahs’ legends Tim Gavin and Tim Wallace at last month’s State Carnival, the squad drew further inspiration for their successful 2012 campaign from a visit to Waratahs Rugby HQ, where they received a personal message of support from the new HSBC Waratahs’ head coach Michael Cheika and were presented with their jerseys by Club Captain McCutcheon before enjoying a behind the scenes tour of the squad’s IBM Centre elite training base.
A number of the current HSBC Waratahs squad members have come through the PSSA system, with Tom Kingston and new signing Michael Hooper among those to have represented NSW at the PSSA National Championships.
2012 NSW Primary Schools Sports Association squad
Coach: Andrew Watson (Ben Venue Public School)
Manager: John Carters (Werrington Public School
Convenor: Matt Lewis (Lidcombe Public School)