Oxley one win away from final
OXLEY Pioneer under-18s are one win away from a third straight Country Rugby League championship final.
The side won both opening round matches at Scone on the weekend, downing Southern Redbacks 34-10 on Saturday before coming back one day later to beat Southern Stingrays 22-6.
The Woolgoolga connection of winger Mitch Dockrey and reserve back Steve Goodwin figured prominently in both encounters with Dockrey crossing for a try against the Redbacks and Goodwin kicking a goal after coming off the bench in game two.
Jubilant coach Peter Barrett feels this combination may eventually prove the best he’s been involved with.
“The North Coast side which won the title in 2007 had six or seven kids who went on to the NRL but this squad may eventually have more,” he said.
“That first win on Saturday was awesome in the way they took control and shut down the other side completely.
“Sunday’s game was a lot closer but I loved the way they toughed it out and if you can win the close ones, you can win just about anything.”
The side plays its semi-final this Saturday at Bathurst against Newcastle Rebels, the team coached by Paul Skovgard who was elevated ahead of Barrett in controversial circumstances to coach the CRL junior rep team.
But Barrett says he has no problem with his rival and is playing down any thoughts of payback.
“Paul and I get on well and his manager is my old halfback from Penrith days, so there are no worries there,” he added.
“And politics has nothing to do with the kids ... all they have to do is get out there and give it their best shot.”
Should the side win on Saturday they get to play the grand final on home soil as a curtain raiser to City versus Country Origin at Port Macquarie on May 7.
Meanwhile, another bunch of elite junior players go on display this morning at Advocate Park in the Coffs Harbour Zone rounds of the CRL North Coast Country Cup.
Bishop Druitt College confront Macksville High at 10.30am.
CRL Development organiser Pat Preston has urged league fans to get to the ground early to catch the action.
“Schoolboy footy is always thrilling,” he said.
The overall winner will progress to the North Coast final in Port Macquarie on June 23.