FIVE Griffith schoolboys have helped break a 23-year-old winless drought in Riverina representative rugby.
Griffith High students Aistan Fidow, Mathew Driti, Andy McRae and Tom Martin, along with Wade High's Jacob Busnello, were part of the Riverina side that broke through for the region's first victory in more than two decades at last week's NSW championships at Newcastle.
After battling through the first two days of the tournament without a win, it appeared to be business as usual for the rep team - until Friday, when the Riverina prevailed 37-7 over Western NSW.
It was no less than what coach Andre Boon believes his team deserved, after heading into the tournament with only one training session under their belts and slowly building over the course of the week.
"The boys got stronger and stronger as they played together," he said.
"It happened over our trainings while we were there - we had some team runs every arvo and we got better with every game.
"It was great to win."
Riverina's status as one of the bush's best cradles of rugby talent was further recognised when six players were selected for the NSW Combined High Schools under 18s and under 16s teams.
Two of them - Fidow and Driti - are Griffith born and bred.
"The CHS selectors were very impressed with their skills and the way the boys played as a team," Boon said.
"The school's very proud of these two boys for representing our region well, and I'm very happy and proud too, to see them show everyone the talent they have."
Driti, Fidow and the NSW CHS teams will head off tomorrow night for another weekend of games in front of state team selectors.