The opening round of the Southern Inland Junior Rugby Union competition kicked off last week with Young and Leeton hosting games.
The Griffith Junior Rugby Union Club sent teams in the Under 6s, Under 10s, Under 12s, Under 14s and Under 16s age divisions along with the Rugby 7s teams in the Under 15s and Under 17s and the Under 16s tag rugby side.
In what was a very successful day, the club picked up 10 wins and a draw from the 14 games played.
The Short Blacks Under 10s boys and girls had a tough introduction to the 2021 season facing the host club the Leeton Phantoms, who based on other results are one of the strongest teams in the competition.
The result was a 14-56 loss, however the team never stopped trying. The second game, was a little closer, going down to the Hay Whipper Snippers 7-30.
The Blacks U12s sounded their intentions for the season with two thumping wins, the first over rivals the Phantoms 64-5 and the second a 58-10 win over Hay.
This squad is made up of a number of "veteran" players who have been together since the Under 6s and many new to the game of rugby.
This will be a team to watch out for during the season along with the Tumut Bullants and the Young Yabbies, who both came away from the first round with bonus point wins and share the top of the table.
The Griffith Under 14s came away from Leeton with a narrow 12-7 victory over the Phantoms and backed it up with a convincing win over the Temora Tuskers 48-0.
The Under 14s competition is generally an even, with the Young Yabbies setting the benchmark at this point in the season.
The Griffith Blackbirds U15s 7s dominated the 2020 season finishing the season unbeaten, and the new squad, which featured only one player from last season, continued the strong tradition of girl's rugby with two superb wins over the Leeton Diana's 35-10 and a 39-14 win over the Temora Tuskers.
The bonus point victories has placed the Blackbirds on top of the table.
The Blacks U16s is virtually a new team, with a number of boys playing rugby union for the first time ever. Their enthusiasm, combined with the experience of the senior players resulted in two great victories, the first being a 22-17 win over Leeton which the Blacks score from an audacious cross field kick which resulted in a try with the last play of the game.
This was backed up with a 30-0 shut out of the Temora Tuskers in the second game of the day. Based on other results there seems to be some disparity between the top three and bottom three, and at this stage the sides to watch are Griffith, Leeton, and the Wagga Crows.
The Under 17s Blackbirds feature only two top age players, with the bulk of the squad being made up of last seasons Under 15 girls. Notwithstanding, the Blackbirds clocked up a 58-0 win over the Albury Steamers, before narrowly losing to the Leeton Diana's 19-24.
The match against the Diana's was a great example of what 7s rugby was about featured some spectacular tries. With only three teams in action this round, both Leeton and Griffith are looking impressive however the relative strength will be gauged with the two teams meet again this weekend in Griffith where they will also face Wagga.
The tag rugby competition in the Under 16 age division comprises of only three sides, with Griffith playing Albury in a double header. Following a 15-15 draw in the first encounter, the girls won the second match 20-15.
The second round with see the Griffith Junior Rugby Union Club host the Leeton Phantoms, the Hay Whipper Snippers and the Wagga Crows, this Mother's Day, 9 May 2021.
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