After setting the standard on Day 1 both Wollongong Devils in the Women’s Open and Doyalson Dragons in the Men’s Open have claimed victory at the 2018 Country Championships.
The Devils again showed that they were a cut above the rest when they faced off against a very confident Tuggernong Vikings. Throughout the rounds Tuggernong’s only two losses were to the Devils so they had nothing to lose heading into the final. With a good mix of youth and experience the Devils showed to all that when you take on the Gong girls on home soil its go hard or go home taking the win 10-3. Devils Captain Jessica McCall found the grand final game fast “we only had 10 players so we knew it was always going to be a tough game but the girls really put in but to the Vikings credit they put three trys on us, but yeah fast game that our girls overcame in the end”
The Doyalson Dragons Men’s Open team have continued their stellar form, with a strong performance throughout the event, although it didn’t come easy. A scare in their semifinals against Beresfield saw the game go into a drop off. With four on four Beresfield had a try disallowed which gave Doyalson a life line and the opportunity to show why they are currently the bench mark team in Men’s Open. With one chance left the ball was handed to Scott Bundy who sealed the game 4-3.
The Dragons then met their arch rivals Wollongong Devils in the Finals. Wollongong were caught off guard with Doyalson scoring in their first possession. The Devils applied plenty of pressure and scored to their first touchdown to let Doyalson know they were here and it was game on. It wasn’t long from there on that Doyalson proved their big match experience moving into the lead and holding the Devils at bay. The Devils scored right on the siren but Doyalson were to strong taking the win and their 5th consecutive Country Championships title 5-4. Coach Karley Banks “It’s the 5th time we’ve played Wollongong and have been lucky to come out on top and its always intense. It’s a great advertisement for Country Touch when you have two great quality sides like that going around playing”
With the Country Championship title now in the bag the Dragons have the real possibility of doing the unique Vawdon Cup and Country Championships double for the 2nd year in a row, if they make it through the semifinals next Friday night against Bankstown.
In the Mens 30s division all the pre-game talk of former Dragons Premiership team mates Jamie Soward and Nathan Fien going head to head this weekend, and it came to fruition when both teams met in the final with Wagga Wagga Vipers taking the win over the Devils 4-2. Vipers Captain Darren Reynoldson said “The game was pretty quick. We came here to test ourselves against Wollongong and Newcastle leading into State Cup. We were fortunate enough to have a few stars in the team who were home grown Wagga players and that was great to play with them, but our new guys also were able to learn from them which has helped our team develop”
Jerrabomberra Storm in the Mixed Open Division shocked reigning champions Port Macquarie Mackos by taking the lead early in the game with 2 touchdowns. The Makos had to do it the hard way being undermanned throughout the whole tournament but came back fighting to even the score. The game continued in traditional touch down turn around style and with only a few minutes to go Port Macquarie scored to seal the win and back to back titles over 7-4. Coach Aaron Ison said “wow that game was hard, tough, we had limited numbers so it was a great effort for us guys to win”
Men’s Open A: Doyalson Dragons 5 def. Wollongong Devils (1) 4 Player of the Final: Daniel Langbridge Doyalson
Men’s Open B: Muswellbrook Mambas 4 def. Wollongong Devils (2) 3 Player of the Final: Luke Howard Muswellbrook
Women’s Open A: Wollongong Devils 10 def. Tuggeranong Vikings 3 Player of the Final: Vienna Randall Wollongong
Women’s Open B: Parkes Pumas 2 def. Beresfield Bandits 1 Player of the Final: Paige Hay Parkes
Mixed Open A: Port Macquarie Makos 7 def. Jerrabomberra Storm 4 Player of the Final: Anna Lewis and Tony Thompson Port Macqaurie
Mixed Open B: Young 6 def Albion Park 3 Player of the Final: Reagan Padis Albion Park and Will Dunn Young
Girls Youth League: Wagga Vipers 10 def. Milton Ulladulla Bullfrogs 2 Player of the Final: Ella McFarlane Wagga
Men’s Seniors (O/30): Wagga Wagga Vipers 4 def Wollongong Devils 2 Player of the Final: Mitchel Brown Wagga
Women’s Seniors (O/30): Wagga Wagga Vipers 5 def Jerrabomberra Storm 3 Player of the Final: Rachel Addison Wagga
Men’s Masters (O/40): Jerrabomberra Storm 9 def. Nelson Bay Neptunes 4 Player of the Final: Trung Le Jerrabomberra
Men’s 50: Newcastle City Knights 4 def. Wollongong Devils 2 Player of the Final: Darren Thornton Newcastle
1st Wagga Wagga Vipers – 70pts
2nd Wollongong Devils – 65pts
3rd Jerrabomberra – 50pts