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By Patrick Foulkes
Following on from the Northern Conference Finals last week in which Brisbane won the U17s against Western Australia 26-24 and in the U15s Western Australia defeated Brisbane City Gold 26-10, all eyes turned to the Southern Conference Finals in Sydney and Orange.
In the U15s age group the young men from Western NSW, were unable to topple the ACT in Orange, going down 22-17.
For the U17s it was a tough and wet encounter at TG Milner in Eastwood. Trailing for most of the match the Western Sydney side continued to hammer the ACT defence that repelled them back.
Western Sydney eventually broke through the line to score in the last minute of the match to claim a thrilling 19-18 victory against the ACT.
“The guys left it to the end, sometimes it’s hard being a coach, it was a bit frightening but it was really good we got the result,” Western Sydney U17s Coach, Jack Lloyd said to ARU Media.
“There are a few more greys there for sure.”
The Western Sydney side will this week travel to Brisbane to play the BMW Junior Gold Cup Grand Final at Suncorp Stadium as a curtain raiser to the Queensland Reds- NSW Waratahs match, with kick off at 1pm.
“It’ll be tough to beat (Brisbane) up there so we are just going to have to prepare well and front up for the Final,” Lloyd said.
“We have so much untapped talent out here in Western Sydney.
“The boys have worked really hard. We have been in training since November, they worked really hard with our coaches and they really deserve the result.
“It’s a lot of reward for their hard work. We are very proud to represent this area and hopefully we can go one more next week.
“I think the JGC has been good for Western Sydney Rugby. It’s brought a real interest. We’ve had a lot of Clubs including the Shute Shield clubs get around and support us.
“It just helps drive kids around the Western Sydney area to help them see there is a pathway to the next level. A lot of these kids we want to see in Waratahs jerseys in a few years’ time.
“I think it’s good to see that you can have success out in the west and give yourself a chance of going further.
“It’s really pleasing for Western Sydney to get someone in the National Final.”
2016 BMW Junior Gold Cup Finals:
U15s- Western Australia v ACT, UWA Sports Park, Saturday 26 March, kick off 3pm AWST
U17s-Brisbane v Western Sydney, Suncorp Stadium Brisbane, Sunday 27 March, kick off 1pm AEST