SATURDAY, 18th JULY, 2020
After what has been a most tumultuous period, the local Central Coast Rugby Union competition is finally set to start. It has been a most difficult time for clubs and administrators to get a competition up and running in this covid pandemic era. All clubs have been affected in varying ways, and some far more than others.
Unfortunately, The Bay Rugby Club (formerly The Entrance Rugby Club) have decided not to compete this year. Their seniors will not be playing however their juniors will be. Two other clubs have also been adversely affected. Warnervale will not be fielding a Premier 2 team this year, while Gosford will not take the field this year with a Premier 1 team. 2020 has been very different year to say the least, and the CCRU have taken everything into consideration to get a competition up and running and to also meet the need of all clubs.
The Match of the Day in Round 1 will be clash at Kariong Oval between Kariong and The Lakes. These two teams had promising seasons last year but faded towards the end of the year. The Lakes made the Finals last year but were defeated in the Minor Semi-final by Gosford and will be hoping to go further than that this year. However on Saturday they meet a team who have a new coach and will be fully prepared for the match. All clubs this season have had very difficult lead ups to this season so there are so many unknowns in these first few matches. In fact both teams have new coaches. At The Lakes there is Marshall Hemopo in charge while Max Malkin will be steering the ship at Kariong. These two coaches would be just keen to get onto the paddock, and obviously would be hoping for a victory first up. It is impossible to choose winner in this clash because of so many unknown factors.
Ourimbah travel to Woongarrah Oval to play Warnervale. Ourimbah will go into this match as favourites based on performances from last year. However anything could happen in this match. Ourimbah had a most disappointing end to last season when they were eliminated in the Finals by Gosford in what was a huge upset on the day. Warnervale had an up and down season last year, so hopefully for them things have steadied and they can have a pleasing year in 2020. Warnervale at home are always difficult and will prove a real obstacle for Ourimbah. Warnervale have kept their coach from last year - Jake Holman will be all that more experienced after his efforts last year. Ourimbah have a new coach also in Matt Hopkins and he has left nothing to chance in his efforts to get a great start to the season for his team.
Woy Woy will host Terrigal at Woy Woy Oval. Terrigal will be favoured to win this clash but Woy Woy under new coach Paul Gooley will be keen to change all that. Gooley coached Woy Woy several years ago so his return to coaching, with co-coach Mitch Hyde, will bring a lot of enthusiasm back to the club. Terrigal are the reigning Premiers and have trained well in the lead up to the season. Terrigal have great depth and experience and despite playing away from home on Saturday should win this match. Terrigal this year will be coached by Michael Farrelly and Alan Gaffney and their experience alone should see their team fully prepared for this match. This match, with all the others, makes up for a very interesting round of rugby in the opening round.
Saturday also sees the start of the Central Coast Women’s 10’s competition. This year the clubs decided to go 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.