Eagles flying back to Dubbo
AFTER a five-year hiatus from the city, the NSW Country Eagles will be back on Apex Oval at the end of next month.
Country Rugby CEO Steve O’brien’s announcement topped off an incredible fortnight for the city and the region with A League, The Moriarty Foundation and the welcome news that the National Rugby Championships match will showcase some of the best talent in Australia.
“The NRC’S foundational roots are in country NSW and the competition has a very strong and established history of being successfully played out in regional centres,” Councillor Greg Mohr said at the launch.
At this stage it is not known who will be in the squad as World Cup selectors will no doubt take westerners Tom Robertson and Ned Hanigan to Japan, but let’s hope there will be room for a few locally-based players who took the Central West Blue Bulls to a comprehensive victory in the Country Championships earlier this year. DEBBIE Archer, Rod Archer and Laken Carrett joined 20 Ducks in the pond at the RSL on Sunday and left with mixed emotions.
The long-standing tradition is that swimmers enter their own anticipated times or are allocated handicaps by the judges. Sometimes they underestimate their ability and others they overestimate, but it seems all three fell foul of the judge at their first attempt. They were all flapping too fast.
“Welcome to the Ducks, guys. You were not the only ones to get the red flag so John Wherritt, our uncompromising handicapper will have his red pen out again,” experienced campaigner Judy Walsh quacked.
Secretary Linda Walsh also commented on Sunday’s swims.
“It’s great to see our numbers increasing in spite of the cold weather. We decided last week to trial an additional race each Sunday commencing August 4. This means we’ll have an opportunity to swim five races per week plus any finals.
“Mark Scullard will set the races up. Our Ducks will need to get up 15 minutes earlier as they need to be ready to hit the water no later than 9:15am. We will look at how this goes over the next month. With longer distances for both freestyle and breaststroke, our plan is to give more time in the pool to our members,” Linda said in her report.
“Goodness, we’ll all be so fit!”
This coming Sunday, the RSL Ducks will compete for the Kintyre Monthly Trophy. Results April 14:
50 metre freestyle: Linda Walsh, Lilah Naden and Bill Greenwood all broke; Marg Ross was given first place on Sunday ahead of Jacob Pearce. However, after a review a reversal of the order was announced.
“Our substitute Captain required glasses this morning, mistakenly reading a 1st place as a ‘B’ (for break) and subsequently awarding 1st for 25m Freestyle to Marg Ross instead of Jacob Pearce. Congrats Jacob and apologies too Marg,” said Linda Walsh. 2 x 25m Brace Relay Freestyle: The pairings of Lilah Naden/garry Giddings and Jacob Pearce/tony Wall were declared “breakers” which meant Jeff Dawes/andrew Schloeffell were elevated to 1st, Nicole Johnstone/greg Jankowski in 2nd and Robert Rich/norm Bahr in 3rd.
50m breastroke: 1st Tony Wall, 2nd Judy Walsh, 3rd Jacob Pearce, 4th Tom Gray, 5th John Wherritt
25 Metre Backstroke: 1st John Wherritt, 2nd Brian Schloeffell, 3rd Marg Ross, 4th Judy Walsh
Donut King Monthly Trophy: Judy Walsh (0.25)
Lucky Numbers: Laken Carrett and Tony Wall MATT Burton has had an outstanding few years and his rugby league career is only just beginning.
Last year he captained Dubbo CYMS, Western Division, Country, Penrith and NSW Under 18s and caught the attention of all the NRL scouts. Matt Burton. He was already signed to the Penrith Panthers and told me on Sunday he had just inked another two-year contract to stay at the foot of the mountains.
The incredibly gifted five-eighth turned on a masterclass at ANZ Stadium before a parochial home crowd last Wednesday, leading the Blues to a 36-10 win over the Maroons.
Many say Burton’s individual performance – scoring two tries in the opening half and laying on two more for his NSW team – had many predicting a bountiful future.
At 18, Burton still has another year in the 20s. It is an amazing feat as selectors almost always pick players in the top half of the age group.
Burton was modest on his return to watch CYMS down Forbes to reverse last year’s grand final loss. He says the support of everyone in Dubbo has backed him all the way.
“Having other western boys like Isaah Yeo, Kayde Ellis, Wade Egan (Lithgow) and now Brent Naden makes it feel a bit like home down at Penrith. There is a really positive feeling. I think it’s because we’ve all come from the bush and appreciate the opportunities we’ve been given,” the quietly spoken Burton said.
Burton had special praise for CYMS legendary coach Tim Ryan.
“Tim gave me the chance to play first grade. He encouraged me and taught me so much. I owe a lot to St Johns and CYMS, but especially to Tim.”
Now that he is based in Penrith, the classy back is able to concentrate on his football.
“After travelling back and forth for the past three or four years, mixing school with training and Jersey Flegg, it’s good to have extra time to concentrate on my footy. I work part-time as a teacher’s aide with some kids who are in need and that helps me a lot to realise that I have been lucky to grow up with good friends and a great family,” Burton added.
A very mature young man; a fine young rugby league player.
On hand to make the exciting announcement of the Country Eagles’ return to Dubbo were Stephen O’brien (NSW Country Eagles), Councillors David Grant and Greg Mohr (Dubbo Regional Council), Stephen Gunn (Elders Insurance), Blanche Robinson (Elders Real Estate), Frank Newman (Central West Rugby), Anthony Stibbard (Elders Rural) and Michael Mcmahon (CEO Dubbo Regional Council). PHOTO: DUBBO PHOTO NEWS/KEN SMITH