CENTRAL COAST RUGBY UNION
SATURDAY, 9th APRIL, 2022
The 2022 Central Coast Rugby Union season hopefully will commence next Saturday. After a false start last Saturday, when all grounds were closed by Central Coast Council, there is hope that the season will commence next Saturday with Round 2. A decision about Round 1 games will be made this week by the CCRU Board.
Last season was a season that was extremely different, with many new experiences brought upon local rugby due to the Covid pandemic. The fact that the 2021 season finished in June was a massive disappointment to all concerned. We are hoping this season will be a much more normal one.
Round 2 sees four (4) Swietelsky Premier 1 matches – in fact this round will be very close in all four matches.
Another feature of this year will be the company SWIETELSKY continuing 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 The Haven Oval when Terrigal will host The Lakes. Terrigal will be slightly favoured to win this clash but The Lakes will be intent to make sure that this slight favouritism is unwarranted. Terrigal are the reigning Premiers and will be ready to go. Terrigal also have great depth and experience. 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, like all the others, makes up for a very interesting series of clashes in this opening round. Because of the extremely wet weather of late, teams have found it almost impossible to have a normal team training session. So all teams will be a little underdone in their preparation so upset results could easily result. The Lakes were having a wonderful year in 2021 and were right in the picture when the season was curtailed. They will be strong again in 2022 under Coach Marshall Hemopo. He has had a most successful couple of years and he will be hoping his team will go right through to the big ones this year. This will be a hard fought and exciting match at The Haven.
Kariong Oval will host an equally interesting clash on Saturday between Warnervale and Kariong. These two teams had differing seasons last year with Kariong well positioned when the season was cut short while Warnervale had yet to get a win in 2021 despite several very close results. However, this is a different and new year. Kariong seem to be well prepared under new Head Coach Louise Ferris. 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 have Glen Gallagher in charge as Club Coach 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 off, 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. It is very difficult to choose a winner in this clash because of so many unknown factors, and the fact that, from all reports, Warnervale have strengthened their roster this year.
Hornsby travel to Heazlett Park on Saturday to play Avoca Beach. This match will be played under lights, kicking off at 6 pm. The match sees the first night game at Heazlett with the new lights. It is very difficult to choose a winner in this clash. Avoca Beach may go into her match as slight favourites because of the home ground advantage but there appears to be absolutely nothing between these two teams. Avoca Beach has a new coach this year, and Michael Burgess comes with a huge amount of rugby experience. He brings to the club much rugby knowledge and should have the team primed for this clash. Hornsby is coached this year by Tristan Jones and Chris Woutersz, so the match sees many new faces both off the paddock as well as on the playing field. This makes it quite difficult to predict the winner, and should make for a most exciting game at Heazlett on Saturday evening.
Gosford and the Razorbacks meet at Gosford Showground in what should prove an exciting clash. The Razorbacks will go into this clash as firm favourites. This is based on the fact of the very good performances of the home side last year, and the fact that Gosford are coming back into the competition after a most difficult 2021. Gosford are back in the competition after having to withdraw from the season last year. They have a new coach in Jack Pike and, although, like other clubs, they have had a disjointed pre-season, they will be ready to go next Saturday. Gosford will go into the clash with a very inexperienced squad of players but a group that are determined to do well. The Razorbacks will be well prepared for this clash, but, like all teams, have found the pre-season so difficult because of the very wet conditions of late.
The Bay Rugby Club will only be playing in the President’s Cup once again this year. On Saturday they will play Woy Woy at Woy Woy Oval 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 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 opening rounds of this year’s competition. This weekend will see Hornsby play two matches, against Avoca Beach and the Razorbacks, Terrigal will play The Lakes, and Kariong will host Warnervale.