Ea­gles fly­ing back to Dubbo

Dubbo Photo News - - Sport -

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


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