UNDER 8s minor rugby league players from the Bega Roosters played a curtain raiser for the NRL recently.
The club played an exhibition match at GIO Stadium, Canberra, before the NRL clash between the Canberra Raiders and Penrith Panthers.
Junior coach Andrew Badullovich praised the NRL and local development officer Damian Kennedy for arranging the opportunity.
Blake Salway, Travis Sommerville, Jasper Kelly and Clayton Badullovich all bagged tries.
And with some solid tackles, Bega scored a win over their Canberra rivals.
Badullovich said the boys represented the club with pride.
“The boys really need to give themselves a huge pat on the back as they represented both themselves and the club so well,” Badullovich said.
“They were great sports and were exceptionally behaved from the moment they left Bega until they stepped off the bus late that evening,” he said.
Both teams then lined up to welcome the NRL players and high-fives from the likes of Jamal Idris, Jarrod Croker and Terry Campese created plenty of excitement.
Coaches and parents said the players were very generous, introducing themselves to the Roosters before the game, some even stopped for a quick photo.
Badullovich said it was great to see the boys’ faces light up playing before the big game and being encouraged by the cheerleaders.
He thanked Brett Jessop for taking on the team manager role for the day and Jo Lever for driving the bus.