BATHURST Bulldogs under 12s juniors Will Curtin, Riley McNiven, Archie Lewis and Jock Robinson gave themselves the perfect preparation for the upcoming NSW State Championships by taking part in a pair of trial matches against Central North on Sunday morning at Coonabarabran.
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The Central West under 12s team, co-captained by Curtin, McNiven and Millthorpe's Barkley Armstrong, showed plenty of potential in their two games, producing some of their best rugby at the back end of the second trial match as their combinations began to click.
Preparation for the championships has been going on for the past few months, with an initial group of 68 kids trialling for the Central West team across two April trials, before the squad was trimmed down to the final group of 23.
Central West under 12s coach Mike Curtin was pleased by the application from his team and the way they took lessons on board over the pair of 50-minute contests.
"There was some great leadership. Jock and Will were both in the side last year as under 11s and they were selected again. These games were an opportunity for the coaching staff of both teams to try out some different combinations and look at kids in different positions," he said.
"When you're selecting a squad to go to state championships we need to select kids who can play multiple positions in a side. If someone were to get injured you need someone to be able to play in multiple position to give us that versatility.
"It was a really solid hit out on the weekend. Certainly by the end of the second game our Baby Blue Bulls managed to put it together and they scored five tries to blot in the second half.
"It takes a while for our combinations to gel. When you're pulling in kids from as far away as Dubbo, Forbes, Cowra, Mugdee, Orange and Bathurst it gives them a chance to play together with others who may have a different playstyle from them.
"We're creating our own style at the moment. We'll have another training session this Sunday in Wellington and then on the long weekend we're off to Camden."
The State Championships will take place in Camden over the long weekend (June 11-13) while the team will also head to September's NSW Country Championships in Coffs Harbour this September.
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