by Brumbies Media

A new high school 15-a-side competition has started in Wagga. This competition is a joint venture between The Paul Ramsay Foundation, Australian Rugby Foundation and Rugby Australia who have entered into an agreement to provide funding to new competitions to bridge the gap between junior and senior rugby, especially in the 16 and 17-year-old demographic.

The Paul Ramsay Foundation was established by Australian Businessman, Paul Ramsay. When he passed away, he left a bequest worth approx. $3 billion to the foundation. Paul was a leading businessman who at his passing was the chairman and major shareholder of the Ramsay Health Care Limited, Prime Media Group Limited and the Paul Ramsay Group.

The aim of this new competition, named the Wagga Super 6s, is to create connections and develop relationships between the local clubs within Wagga and some of the local high schools. By creating this relationship, the clubs and schools can work together to firstly develop Rugby within the schools, and then from there provide the opportunity for these kids to take part in club rugby within the senior space on the weekend.

Round 1 of the tournament kicked off in some very warm conditions, with a large crowd building from early on. The first game saw Wagga Wagga High School take on The Riverina Anglican College (TRAC) in a very close encounter with TRAC taking the win in the last moments of the game 17 – 14. A very fast game for the temperature with some end to end rugby played and some great cover tackles made.

The Okerenyang brothers were stand outs for TRAC scoring the 3 tries between them. The second game saw tournament favourites Mater Dei Catholic College come flying out of the gates against a new and raw Wagga Wagga Christian College. Mater Dei took control of the game with a try in the opening minutes. Wagga Wagga Christian College showed glimpses of brilliance with their 10 showing some great strength through contact when carrying and making some great cover tackles.  A late consolation try to Wagga Christian College helped spirits but Mate Dei Catholic College were far to strong winning the game 65 – 7. Nathanael Mooney was a stand out for Mater Dei, moving from his preferred 2nd Row/Back Row position into Flyhalf, playing distributor throughout the game.

The final game of the day saw Kildare Catholic College take on Kooringal High School as the sun set and the temperature cooled off. Kooringal High School came out of the blocks with a lot of pressure on Kildare’s line, but Kildare were able to hold off wave after wave. Kildare then switched into gear, running away with the game 37 – 0. Standouts for Kooringal High School were the fullback, Nic Carl, who made numerous cover tackles throughout the game stopping certain tries.

After week one of the competition local Development Officer, Zac Elliott said “the quality of rugby on display across the afternoon has been phenomenal, especially in some trying temperatures”. He added that “the idea behind this competition is grow the game by connecting the Schools with the Senior Clubs to create a pathway for these boys to play Senior rugby in the coming years”.

Asked whether there was scope to add the female space to this competition, Zac said “definitely in the years to come we will look at having girls’ games alongside the boys or as a stand-alone fixture”. Week 2 of the tournament kicks of next Thursday afternoon with Mater Dei Catholic College taking on Kildare Catholic College in what should be a very interesting affair with no love lost between these two schools.

The second game will see Wagga Christian College take on Wagga Wagga High School as both team search for that first win. The final game of the day will see Kooringal High School take on what some are calling the dark horse of the competition, The Riverina Anglican College. Get down to Conolly Rugby Park from 4:30pm to see what Round 2 will bring!