SATURDAY, 10th APRIL, 2021
The 2021 Central Coast Rugby Union season commences next Saturday. Last season was a season that was extremely different, with many new experiences brought upon local rugby due to the Covid pandemic. But a season we did have last year. We are hoping this season will much more normal.
The opening round sees four(4) Swietelsky Premier 1 matches – in fact the first round sees four Finalists from last year matching up against 4 teams who did not make the Finals. It will be interesting to see if the same positioning of teams will be occurring this year.
Another feature of this year will be the company SWIETELSKY coming on board as a major sponsor of Central Coast Rugby Union. The Premier 1 competition will be known as the Swietelsky Premier 1 competition.
The Match of the Day in Round 1will be the clash at Woongarrah Oval between Warnervale and Hornsby. These two teams had promising seasons last year with Hornsby making the Finals while Warnervale faded late in the year to miss out on the Finals. However, this is a different and new year. Hornsby seem to be very settled with the same coach in Chip Carroll. Like most teams so far this year, things have been kept very close to the chests so little is known of many of the club squads. Warnervale are at home which is a huge advantage for them. Warnervale have appointed a new coach in Glen Gallagher and he will be looking for a good start to the season. A very wet preseason has limited the preparation of teams with many training sessions called of and even some trial matches. So, the first few weeks will be very important in telling us the form and prospects of teams this year. These two coaches would be just keen to get onto the paddock, and obviously would be hoping for a victory first up. Although Hornsby would go into this match as slight favourites based on last year’s performances, it is very difficult to choose a winner in this clash because of so many unknown factors.
Ourimbah travel to Woy Woy Oval to play Woy Woy. Ourimbah will go into this match as favourites based on performances from last year. However, anything could happen in this match. Ourimbah had a disappointing end to last season when they were eliminated in the Preliminary Final. Woy Woy had a difficult season last year, so hopefully for them things have steadied and they can have a much improved year in 2021. Woy Woy at home are always difficult and will prove a real obstacle for Ourimbah. Woy Woy have a new coach this year in Wais Qalulu. Ourimbah have retained Matt Hopkins as coach and he has left nothing to chance in his efforts to get a great start to the season for his team. Ourimbah have had one of the best preparations for this season compared to all other clubs.
Terrigal will host Kariong at The Haven Oval on Saturday evening. Terrigal will be favoured to win this clash but Kariong under coach Max Malkin will be keen to change all that. Kariong had a season to forget in 2021 but will be hoping for a much better effort in 2021. They have had a great start to the year when they won the ‘7’s By The Sea’ tournament in February and have had a good trial in the lead up to the season. Terrigal are the reigning Premiers and have trained well in the build up to the season. Terrigal have great depth and experience and playing at home on Saturday even increases their chances of victory in this match. Terrigal this year will be coached by Michael Farrelly again and his experience alone should see their team fully prepared for this match. This match, with all the others, makes up a very interesting round of rugby in the opening round. This clash between Terrigal and Kariong will be played under lights at The Haven commencing at 7pm.
Gosford and The Lakes meet at Gosford Showground in what should prove an exciting clash. The Lakes had a wonderful year in 2020 only just failing in the Grand Final to take the Premiership. They will be strong again in 2021 under coach Marshall Hemopo. He had a most successful year last year and he will be hoping his team will go that one step further this year. Gosford have a new coach in Brett Davis and, although their preparation has not been what they hoped, they will be ready to go next Saturday. The Lakes will be favourites in this clash but Gosford at home are always a most difficult proposition.
The Bay Rugby Club will only be playing in the Presidents Cup this year. They missed last season due to covid but will back on the field this year. On Saturday they will play Avoca Beach in their first match and the result of this match is almost impossible to predict.
Saturday also sees the start of the Central Coast Women’s 10’s competition. This year the clubs continue with 10-a-side rugby and there will be eight 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 opening rounds of this year’s competition.