CENTRAL COAST RUGBY UNION
SATURDAY, 6th APRIL, 2019
The opening round of the 2019 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. All clubs have kept player movement very close to their chests so far this year so it is most difficult to see who is favourite in any match in Round 1. All matches could warrant ‘Match of the Day’ status and it would appear all matches will be tight.
The Match of the Round however sees The Lakes at home to Ourimbah at Slade Park. Ourimbah, as reigning Premiers travel north to take on The Lakes in what should prove a most exciting game of rugby. Both clubs from all reports have had some additions to their playing rosters this year so it will be most interesting to see who takes the field in this encounter. The Lakes have always proved very tough to defeat at home and Ourimbah will be fully aware of that. Andrew Long will be coaching The Lakes again this year and he will be hoping for a similar start to the year that his team had last year. Many players in The Lakes squad have been playing the 7’s circuit so it should take a little to time to adjust to the 15’s format. The Lakes were so unlucky to miss the Finals last year and they will be most keen to make them this year. Ourimbah Coach, Brett Marchant, will have his team fully prepared for this season. He will also be hoping for a good start but he well knows that all teams will be very keen to defeat Ourimbah this year as they are the current Premiers. This is a very interesting fixture to commence the 2019 season.
Woy Woy travel to Gosford Showground to take on Gosford and this is another match in which it is impossible to predict the victor. These two teams have new coaches this year. Luke Ingold had taken control at Woy Woy while Adam Beavis returns to the Gosford club after coaching them several years ago. Both coaches will be hoping for a strong start to the season. Gosford had a poor year in 2018 and will be most keen to improve on that in 2019. Woy Woy made the Finals last year but were quickly eliminated and would have liked to have gone further. Preparation for this season has been a little disrupted as several trial matches have been called off due to the wet weather so most teams this Saturday will go in a little under prepared. With new coaches on deck, and new players on the roster, it will take several weeks to see how these teams will measure up this year. This will be a close encounter and there should be a big crowd on hand to see the clash at the Showground
The 2017 Premiers Terrigal will host Hornsby at The Haven Oval on Saturday. There are new coaches for both these teams as well. Terrigal sees the return of Murray Cox, who was in charge when they won 2 years ago, so he is a welcome return for the club. Hornsby have former Shute Shield coach, Chip Carroll, on deck, and from all reports has been doing some great things at training with the Hornsby squad. Terrigal will go into this clash as slight favourites because of their home ground advantage but anything could happen in any first round clash this weekend. Terrigal will be hoping to go one better this year and to get their hands on another Premiership but all their concerns on Saturday will be dealing with a rejuvenated Hornsby team. This appears to be a great match to kick off the season at The Haven.
Warnervale travel to Heazlett Park on Saturday to take on Avoca Beach. Warnervale had an up and down season year and would have been most disappointed on how they finished the season last year. They will be most keen to start the season with a win but it will be tough as they will face a youthful Avoca Beach team on their home soil. Avoca Beach are always so difficult to defeat at Heazlett. From all reports Avoca Beach have had a very good off season. Justin Staben is once again in charge at Avoca Beach and with a year’s coaching under his belt, he will be most keen to get his team back into Finals contention after missing out last year. Warnervale have had some difficulties over the off season but hard work by their committee seems to have brought it all together close to the start of the season. Both teams will be most keen to start the season with a win.
The Entrance are playing only President’s Cup again this year and will meet Kariong in the one grade at Joseph Banks Oval on Saturday. The Entrance had a very successful year last year and were defeated in the Grand Final. They will be hoping to continue on from that in this encounter. Kariong will have some very experienced players in their line-up from all reports and this should see them have a good start to the season.
Saturday also sees the start of the Central Coast Women’s 7’s competition. All the teams with 7’s teams will be competing on Saturday following the men’s draw. Eight clubs will have team playing this year and this competition continues to go from strength to strength. The first few rounds should see some exciting results. Woy Woy and Premiers Avoca Beach proved the powerhouses last year but with new teams entered, such as The Lakes and Kariong, things will be most interesting.