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Santos Festival of Rugby - Narrabri

Narrabri Blue Boars Rugby Club played host to the first Santos Festival of Rugby. The festival highlight was a Super Rugby AU pre-season trial between the NSW Waratahs and Queensland Reds.


Also featured was the Aussie7s Mens Sevens team playing in a tournament against NSW, QLD and Pasifika as part of their preparation for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. a Community Women's Sevens tournament and Coaching Clinic rounded out the weekend


Waratahs v Reds Trial Game


Covid-19 restrictions reduced both teams to only only pre-season trial before the 2021 Super Rugby AU season. Both teams took the opportunity to give their fringe players a chance to impress the coaches before the start of the season proper. It was also rugby fans first chance to see high-profile Melbourne Storm NRL recruit, Suliasi Vunivalu, in action


The game itself was an entertaining match, with the Queensland Reds taking the early lead, before being overtaken by the Waratahs. The Reds got back in the lead in the 3rd Quarter before the Waratahs scored 2 late tries to take out a 45-33 win, as well as collecting the Santos Cup and a $25,000 winners cheque.


Gallery




Teams


NSW


1 Sio Tatola

2 David Porecki

3 Harry Johnson-Holmes

4 Michael Wood

5 Sam Caird

6 Hugh Sinclair

7 Charlie Gamble

8 Will Harris

9 Jack Grant

10 Tane Edmed

11 Triston Reilly

12 Tepai Moeroa

13 Alex Newsome

14 Mark Nawaqanitawase

15 Max Bury


REPLACEMENTS

16. Tom Horton

17. Angus Bell

18. Te Tera Faulkner

19. Jeremy Williams

20. Carlo Tizzano

21. Jake Gordon

22. Joey Walton

23. Jack Maddocks

24. Will Harrison

25. Izaia Peresi

26. Max Douglas

27. Chris Talakai

28. Jack Whetton


Queensland


Frontrow

Richie Asiata

Matt Faessler

Feao Fotuaika

Harry Hoopert

Josh Nasser

Zane Nonggorr

Dane Zander


Locks/Backrow

Ben Grant

Fraser McReight

Ryan Smith

Tuaina Taii Tualima

Sam Wallis

Liam Wright

Seru Uru


Halves

Lawson Creighton

Bryce Hegarty

Moses Sorovi

Kalani Thomas


Centres/Outside Backs

Jock Campbell

Hudson Creighton

Filipo Daugunu

Ilaisa Droasese

Mac Grealy

Hamish Stewart

Suliasi Vunivalu


Sevens Tournament


Aussie7s Mens Coach Tim Walsh faces a tough task preparing his team for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, with international travel restrictions shutting down the 2020-2021 HSBC World Series Sevens tournament, and preventing lead-up games against International opponents.



Instead, a several round tournament has been organised against NSW and Queensland State Sevens teams, as well as an Pasifika Invitational team. Narrabri played host to one of these rounds as part of the Santos Festival of Rugby.


The Aussie7s Men's team went through the tournament undefeated, but were pushed hard on several occasions, including a 12-all draw against QLD, winning with a extra time golden point try. On less positive news, flyer Henry Hutchison suffered a hamstring injury, putting his Olympic preparation in doubt


Gallery





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© 2019 by Stephen Tremain.