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SATURDAY, 15th APRIL, 2023

The 2023 Central Coast Rugby Union season commences next Saturday. The opening round sees four (4) Swietelsky Premier 1 matches – in fact the first round should be close in all four matches. All teams will be keen to get on the paddock, and all will be aiming to reach Grand Final day on the 23rd September.

Another feature of this year will be the company SWIETELSKY continuing as a major sponsor of Central Coast Rugby Union. The Premier 1 competition continues to be known as the Swietelsky Premier 1 competition.

The Match of the Day in Round 1 will be the clash at Walters Park, Boolaroo when home team Lake Macquarie take on visitors Warnervale. There will be many eyes on this contest. Lake Macquarie have come into the CCRU competition as a new team but with a long history in the Newcastle competition. Warnervale will be very wary of them and this clash should go right down to the wire. Warnervale will be headed this year again by Club Coach Glen Gallagher while Lake Macquarie will be coached by Neil McDonald. There are many unknowns about all matches early in the season because of player movement, player acquisitions, and many other factors, but this match is even more difficult in which to choose a victor because one team is totally new to the competition. This will be an enthralling game of rugby and will create huge interest on the day.

Slade Park will host an equally interesting clash on Saturday between The Lakes and Avoca Beach. The Lakes are at home which is a plus for them but they meet an Avoca Beach side that have had a good build up to the season. Both teams have new coaches this year. Avoca Beach will coached by Jake McPhie and Mitch Jacobs, while The Lakes will be headed by Don Lawson. So there is a new learning curve for both teams, for both the players and the coaches. So the first few weeks will be very important in telling us the form and prospects of these teams this year. These coaches would be just keen to get onto the paddock, and obviously would be hoping for a victory first up. Once again it is very difficult to choose a winner in this clash because of so many unknown factors.

Gosford and Hornsby meet at Mark Taylor Oval in what should prove an exciting clash Gosford had a tough year in 2022 but have had a good lead up to the competition this year. They have strengthened their numbers and they will be excited about this season. Gosford will be coached by Andrew Moseley and Adam Carlisle so their experience will prove hugely beneficial to this young team. Hornsby are at home which is a real plus for them, but like all matches this coming Saturday, this clash could go either way. Hornsby will be coached by Tristan Jones this year. Jones has been around with the club for a very long time and will have the team well prepared for this clash next Saturday.

The Razorbacks travel to Woy Woy Oval to play Woy Woy. The Razorbacks will go into this match as firm favourites based on performances from last year. However, anything could happen in this match. The Razorbacks will be coached by Brett Cunningham and they will ready to go on Saturday. Woy Woy are at home and are always stronger there. Their coach, Wais Qalula, would realise the difficulty of this match but will his charges fully prepared for next weekend. Both teams will be hoping for a great start to the season.

The Bay Rugby Club will only be playing in the President’s Cup once again this year. On Saturday they will play Warnervale at Boolaroo in their first match and the result of this match is almost impossible to predict.
The Gosford/Kariong Presidents Cup team has the bye this coming weekend.

Saturday also sees the continuance of the Central Coast Women’s 10’s competition. This year the clubs continue with 10-a-side rugby and there will be seven teams in this year’s competition. It will take several weeks before these teams sort themselves out but it all makes for some interesting rugby in the early rounds of this year’s competition. There are three matches this coming Saturday – Woy Woy is at home to the Razorbacks, Warnervale will host Terrigal, while The Lakes meet Avoca Beach at Slade Park. Hornsby has the bye.

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