CCRU Preview Round 3

SATURDAY, 22nd APRIL, 2017

James M Ryan Chartered Accountant

The Central Coast Rugby Union season restarts after the Easter break with several very enthralling matches on hand. There are a couple of clashes which deserve Match of the Day status.
One of these will be at Woongarrah Oval where Kariong will travel north to take on home side Warnervale. These two teams are coming off very good wins two weeks ago and both will be most keen to continue this winning streak. Both teams had very good starts in these clashes and were able to go on with it to achieve their respective victories. Both teams are having their best starts to a season in quite awhile and confidence is high in both camps. Warnervale are at home and this will be a huge plus for them. The only worrying aspect for them is how they were unable to post any points in the second half in their Last game, but their coaching staff would have worked on that during the Easter break. This match for Kariong will be their first away match so it will be interesting so see how they travel. Kariong have been most impressive in their past two matches, defeating Finalists from last year in Woy Woy and Avoca Beach. Kariong will rely heavily on their very effective forward pack, but also do have the backline to take advantage of any good supply of ball. Warnervale will enjoy being at home and this factor alone may be the only difference between these two teams on Saturday.

Another encounter that warrants Match of the Day status is the match at Ourimbah Rugby Park where Ourimbah will host Gosford. There is an intense rivalry between these two teams and they both enjoy gaining a victory over each other. Both teams are yet to lose a game this year so obviously one will face that possibility this Saturday. Gosford have had a draw with Avoca Beach in the first round and in their last clash were very good in their easy win over Hornsby. Ourimbah have only had the one match this year due to a bye and they were extremely good in that win over The Lakes. Ourimbah have strengthened this year with the return of several key players, and it seems they are set for a good year. They will rely on players such as Josefa Biu, Rob Richardson and Tyler Jones, but do have a good all round team. Gosford have had a pleasing start to the year but players such as Josh McGlynn, Josh Reid, and Hugo Pike will have to lead from the front if their team are to win this match. This will be an interesting game of rugby and should attract a good size crowd to Ourimbah Rugby Park.

Hornsby will play hosts to Avoca Beach at Mark Taylor Oval and both teams will be desperate for a victory. Both teams are coming off a loss in Round 2 so both will be most keen to get back on track with a win. Hornsby were most impressive at home in Round 1 and recorded a great win in that match but that bubble burst last week when they lost to Gosford. Avoca Beach also had a loss to Kariong in their last outing and will be keen to reverse that trend this coming Saturday. Hornsby are always that little bit stronger at home and will be prepared for this clash. Avoca Beach are yet to have a win this season and know that will have to do that soon. Avoca Beach will go into this match as favourites but Hornsby will make it difficult for them.

The Lakes travel to The Haven Oval where they will meet Terrigal. Terrigal will be most keen to get onto the paddock after two weeks rest and will go into the clash as clear favourites. Terrigal came from behind to win their only game of the season, and despite the closeness of the result in that match, they did show they will be a major force once again this year. They are the reigning Premiers and will be keen to retain that mantle this year. The Lakes have had a difficult start to the season with two losses. They will be hoping things will improve and will see this clash at Terrigal as a possible turning point.

The Entrance will travel to Woy Woy Oval to take on home side Woy Woy in the President’s Cup and this match will be closely fought. Based on what has happened in the first two rounds there is absolutely nothing between these two teams.

CCRU Preview Round 2


The second round of Central Coast Rugby Union sees another series of interesting clashes. The Match of the Day will be at Kariong Oval where Kariong will host Avoca Beach. These two teams had good results last week, with Kariong coming from behind to defeat Woy Woy while Avoca Beach snatched a draw against Gosford in the dying stages of their encounter. Both teams displayed patches of good form but both teams know they have plenty of areas to work on. It took Kariong quite awhile to get into gear last week and they will be keen this Saturday to avoid a similar slow start. Kariong will rely heavily on a solid forward pack to lay the foundation for a victory. Their forwards will be led up front by Corey Holwill and Phil Brown, but they will not be able to do all the work. They do have several players in the backline with pace and size and can take advantage of any good ball supplied to them. Coach Chris Downie was please with Kariong’s efforts last week, but will be seeking more from his players this Saturday. Avoca Beach have several young players in their team this year, but will still rely on experienced players such as Julian Bacigalupo, Bradd Sheridan and Josh Meadham to lead from the front. This will be a very close game of rugby and both teams will be even stronger this week after their run last Saturday. It is a difficult game in which to choose a winner and maybe home ground advantage may be the only difference.

Another very close tussle will be the match at Woongarrah Oval between the home side Warnervale and the visitors Woy Woy. Both teams lost last week but got so close. Both teams led their respective matches well into the second half but both faded late in the match. Both teams will be most keen to avoid that happening this week. Warnervale played very well last week and it seemed they were going to defeat the current premiers Terrigal, and Woy Woy also played well in the first half last week but let things slip in the second stanza. This match, like the one described above, is a most difficult one in which to choose the victor. Once again, maybe home ground advantage will be the only difference.

Gosford are at home to Hornsby at Gosford Showground. The ground will be wet there and this will make for a very even clash. Gosford felt a little unlucky to not get the win last week but will be keen to up the temper against Hornsby this Saturday. Hornsby had a wonderful first up win last Saturday, and will be most keen to continue that winning way this week. Gosford will go into the match as favourites. This is because they are at home and because they displayed enough form last week to show they will be a danger to most teams this year. However the Hornsby players will be there and about for the entire 80 minutes. This will prove an interesting matchup.

The Lakes are at home to Ourimbah at Slade Park and they will be hoping that their first home game on Saturday will bring them better luck this week. They played well in patches last Saturday but they did suffer a loss. This week they are at home and they usually do perform much better at home. They are meeting Ourimbah and this will be the visitor’s first outing of the year and they may not yet have all their combinations fully switched on. However Ourimbah should be favourites this week based on their efforts last year but this is this year and The Lakes will be hoping to get their first win of the season.

The Entrance will host Terrigal in the President’s Cup and this match will be at Joseph Banks Oval on Friday night at 7.30 pm. The Entrance went down in a tight match last week and they will be keen to reverse that this weekend. Terrigal are coming off a win and should be strong.


CCRU Preview Round 1



The opening round of the 2017 season sees potentially very close matches in all four encounters. It is an excellent opening round with all teams feeling they have a realistic chance of victory. Because of the recent wet weather, trial matches and training had been severely disrupted so anything could happen in these contests. Also, all clubs have kept player movement very close to their chests so it is most difficult to see who is favourite in any match in Round 1.

The Match of the Round sees Avoca Beach at home to Gosford at Heazlett Park.
These two clubs have the same coaches as last year with Matt Parker still at the helm at Avoca Beach while Andrew Ellem and Fred McGlynn will do their duties with Gosford. Avoca Beach finished last season strongly and although defeated in the Grand Final by Terrigal would still be most pleased with their efforts last season. They will be most keen to continue that good form into the start of this season. Neither team has had any effective trial matches this pre-season so basically they are basically starting cold. Gosford have lost a few key players from last year and it will take quite some time before the new combinations are sorted out. Avoca Beach are always so strong at home and their record there is exemplary. Based on what occurred towards the end of last season, one would expect the home side to go into this match as slight favourites. Both teams realise it is so important to get an early good start and those early points on the competition ladder are so important at the end of the season.

Another equally intriguing match will be the game at The Haven Oval where the home side Terrigal takes on Warnervale. This match is also very hard to predict. Terrigal are the current Premiers and because of that will go into this opening fixture as favourites. Terrigal have the same coaching staff this year in Chester Scott, Craig McWilliam and Murray Cox, and their playing roster seems to be quite similar to last year. They appear to be the most settled of all the clubs at this stage of the season. They should be ready to go and the Warnervale team could find things difficult. However from all reports Warnervale have trained well and are hoping for a very good season. Coach Dave Appleby is back again and will be hoping to finish much higher on the competition ladder this season. This is another very interesting fixture to commence the 2016 season.

Kariong will be ready to go in this year’s Central Coast Rugby Union competition when they host Woy Woy at Kariong Oval on Saturday. Kariong were so unfortunates to miss out on the Finals Series last year by the narrowest of margins so will be keen to go that one step better this year. They have kept things very quiet on top of the hill so what occurs on Saturday should be interesting. Woy Woy have appointed two new co-coaches in John Stokie and Chris Schaumkel, so it will be most interesting how they will have their team firing at this early stage of the season. These two coaches were very successful with the club’s Premier 2 team last year when they took out the Premiership in that grade, so quite a few of those players will more than likely make an appearance in the top grade this year. Kariong are always strong at home, and go into this clash as very slight favourites. Kariong’s new coach, Chris Downie, will be most keen to start the season on a high. This will be close. Woy Woy were Finalists last year and would be disappointed how their season ended. They will be keen to amend.

Hornsby will host The Lakes at Warrina Street Oval in Berowra. Due to cricket commitments at Mark Taylor Oval this venue change has occurred. There are so many unknowns about this match. Hornsby have not said too much about their pre-season so it will be most interesting how things pan out early in the season. Tod Wills at back at the helm at Hornsby and he will have the boys prepared for this encounter. The Lakes have apparently had a good off season, with new players coming on board, and with good numbers at training. They also just recently organised another very successful ‘7’s by the Seas’. Chris McCaskie is Coach again, so with a year coaching the club under his belt, he should have the team ready to put in a very good performance on Saturday. This match is impossible to predict and because of all the factors listed above, the result could go either way.

The Entrance are playing only President’s Cup again this year and will meet Ourimbah in the one grade at Ourimbah Rugby Park on Friday night at 7 pm. The Entrance had a very successful year last year and just missed out on the Finals Series. They defeated the Premiers in that grade in their last round match of last season. They will be hoping to continue on from that in this encounter. Ourimbah are back in the President Cup competition this year after a year out, and they probably would be slight favourites in this President’s Cup clash simply because they have the home ground advantage. However this match will be very tight.


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