Group 16 All Stars exhibition shines

Kyle Shepherdson ran away with the show during the Group 16 All Stars fixture on Saturday.

 Shepherdson, who plays for the under 18s Stingrays, capped off a phenomenal run in the representative rounds with a four-try haul. 

“He’s quick, he’s elusive, there is real potential for him and he’s a great young player,” Group 16 Chairman Allan Wilton said. 

It was a major boost for the team as it ran out strong winners 36-6 over the Southern Redbacks. 

The under 18s will now go through to compete against Newcastle in the semi-finals in Bathurst. 

“They had a big loss in the opening round, but bounced back well with two good wins,” Wilton said. 

Later in the headline Group 16 v Indigenous All Stars exhibition showdown, the Group 16 squad continued their dominance with a 30-6 win in a downpour of rain. 

Wilton said the effort came off the back of some explosive runs through the middle, heaping praise on the front-rowers. 

Grant Moon goes on a burst for the Group 16 All Stars in the headline men's match on Saturday.

Grant Moon goes on a burst for the Group 16 All Stars in the headline men's match on Saturday.

“Some of the best had to be Grant Moon, Luke Ingram and Alex Stuart,” he said. 

“They had decisive runs through the middle and piled on plenty of metres for their team.”

Bega half for the Indigenous side James Bower-Scott had some purple patches, but Wilton said it was difficult for the halves to put anything together with Group 16 dominating play. 

More than 1000 people packed out Mackay Park for the junior rep rounds and the later All Stars exhibition matches, despite on and off rain throughout the day. 

“Given consideration to the fact there had been downpours all the matches were fantastic and teams played hard,” Wilton said. 

“The Indigenous v All Stars fixture has been a very positive thing for Group 16 and the turnout shows how well supported it is.”

In a remarkable reversal of last year’s result, the Indigenous ladies side swept the field of the Group 16 All Stars with a tremendous 36-0 result. 

“The ladies was a fantastic game, there were powerful runs, heavy hits and even a couple of full-length tries,” Wilton said. 

Wilton praised Lily Bennett for the Indigenous side and said with age she could become a representative star with immense speed and great stepping. 

Earlier, the under 16s had scored an 18-12 win in a close contest.

Unfortunately, the Bidgee Bulls pulled out a surprising win in a separate round to knock the Stingrays out of semi-final contention on for and against. 

“That was really unlucky,” Wilton said. “It looked like they were going through to the finals, but a surprising win from Bidgee knocked them out.”

Wilton commended Narooma’s Connor Martin, who he said was a tackling machine in the 16s match up.

The regular season starts on April 1. 

Callum Bower-Scott and James Grant are two Bega Roosters U18's players who have been representing in the Greater Southern Stingrays U18's team playing in the Country Championships.The team has just made the finals and will be playing in Bathurst on Saturday.

The pair are no strangers to representative football with previous experience in the under 16s and are adding a certain Bega flair to the team that has been invaluable throughout the championships. 

The club wishes the duo luck for this weekend.