All roads will lead to the Bega Recreation Ground this Saturday as the Bega Minor Rugby League Club host the 2018 Group 16 Grand Finals and with representation in four of the six matches the Bega Club are anticipating a huge show of support with the Red, White and Blue streamers already flying in Bega town.
The Roosters Under 16s head into their grand final match on the back of a huge win over Batemans Bay in the Preliminary final last Saturday 40 points to 4. However, their toughest challenge is yet to come as they face the 2018 Minor Premiers, the Narooma Devils, this weekend. Although they couldn’t overcome the Devils in the major semi, going down 30 points to 18, there is much to play for this weekend in what will be the last Minor League game for most of the Bega side. Captain, Clay Ellison, is a general who guides the team around the paddock, and, with his great kicking game and solid defence, is expected to play a major role for his side. Ellison will look to his Number 6, Jack McCoy, to assist with the leadership role and keep the talk up on the field. In the forwards, Jordan Gray-Balcomb and Ronny Richards are as tough as nails and will run and tackle all day and Coach James Duncan will need them to lay a platform for his backs. Bega's big gun and game breaker, Finlay Geoghegan, will need to be at his best for Bega to cause a major upset.
After a nail-biting victory in the Under 14s major semi-final two weeks ago the Bega Roosters are now well rested and eager for their chance to take out the 2018 premiership against the Batemans Bay Tigers. Coach, Peter Wheatley, will again look for big games from his Centres Bailey Caldwell and Logan Reeve and is particularly keen to get points on the board early. Captain Matt Wheatley, leading point scorer for his side this year, will be hoping to continue this success on Saturday and will look for some quick hands from half Liam Kelly to spread the ball wide. Wheatley believes that defence will be the key with forwards Kyran Hoyland, Dylan Campbell, Josh Whitby, Anson Charlebois, Oscar Carr and Jhett Tyler expected to fill big roles in defending and attacking.
The Bega Roosters Under 12s have really hit form at the important end of the season and looked every bit like a team able to take out the 2018 premiership when they defeated Narooma Devils in the elimination match last Saturday 20 points to 10. Now preparing for a semi-final rematch against arch-rivals and minor premiers the Merimbula/Pambula Bulldogs, the Roosters will need to put that game behind them, where the Bulldogs snatched a 6 point victory late in the second half, and have faith in their ability as a team. Coach, Norm Griffin, will be expecting his young play-makers Jasper Kelly, Rory Deighton and Louis Willington to continue to lead the play and feed the forward pack, headed by Travis Sommerville, while Captain Sam Griffin expects the return of big Sam Lever and Sam Andy will “strengthen the team across the park”. Young forward Braedy Armstrong has really stepped up this season and, along with fellow forwards Tyler Ellard and Tyler Breust, will be crucial in defence and attack for Bega. Coach Griffin is impressed by the spirit his team has shown throughout the season, where they have relished in the tight, tough games and fought through injuries. He will need the experience and leadership of Captain Sam Griffin to once again shine through and coupled with the dynamic skills of Will Gray-Balcomb and Aedan Reeve and the speed of Kaelan Luff Coach Griffin expects his team to overcome the favourites on Saturday. With a strength of handy bench players in Blake Fuller, Rhylan Russell, Lachlan Marks, Deklan Ferguson and Mini Guaniqio the Bega Roosters are set to give it their all and hope to be doing that victory lap at full-time.
It won’t be just the Bega boys looking for the accolades on Saturday either as the Bega Mods League Tag side (10-12 year old girls) also represent the Club in the grand final. The girls will take on the undefeated Narooma Red Devils but, whilst the Devils have plenty of speed and experience across the paddock, Bega will look to their own speedstars Shakira Dummett and Jasmin Constance to take them on. After a slow start in their preliminary final against Bombala Blue Heelers last Saturday, the Bega Chicks didn’t take long to hit top gear and didn’t back off, defeating Bombala 34 points to 12. Maddie Cullen and Summer Norris were unstoppable scoring 3 tries each. Goals were kicked by Kirstyn Thomas, Emerson Armstrong, Maddie Cullen, Lydia Weber and Scarlett Norris. Coach Mel Armstrong is hoping for Bega's much improved tagging to continue this weekend and expects another top performance from her girls with a premiership in sight. Coach Armstrong is pleased her team is going in as the underdog and believes “all the pressure will be on the other team”.
Among the successes in the elimination finals last weekend Bega also suffered the upset of the day with Narooma Devils proving too strong in the International League Tag preliminary final against the 2018 Minor Premiers the Bega Chicks 18 points to 8. The Bega girls will now look to next year with all team members eligible to play again in this division.
The draw for this weekend at the Bega Recreation Ground is as follows. Entry will be through the top gates only, via Carp Street, with an entry fee for adults of $5.
9.30- Under 10's Narooma Vs Batemans Bay
10.30- Mod Tag Narooma Vs Bega
11.30am- Under 12's Merimbula-Pambula Vs Bega
12.30pm- International League Tag Bombala Vs Narooma
1.40pm- Under 14's Bega Vs Batemans Bay
2.40pm-Under 16's Narooma Vs Bega