Talented rugby trio

Rising stars: Tom Watts, Joseph Bartlett and Williams Brooks recently travelled to Salamander Bay for state PSSA junior rugby union.
Rising stars: Tom Watts, Joseph Bartlett and Williams Brooks recently travelled to Salamander Bay for state PSSA junior rugby union.

Tom Watts, Williams Brooks and Joseph Bartlett travelled to Salamander Bay recently to play in the North West Primary Schools Sports Association (PSSA) rugby union team.

After progressing from their Moree Public School union team, the boys played in the northern district trials where they were then selected for the north west trials.

Watts, Brooks and Bartlett received the news they had been chosen for the PSSA junior rugby union side and headed to Tamworth for training.

After a full-on day of drills and skills, the local trio headed to Salamander Bay, Port Stephens to play in a three-day carnival against other teams from around NSW.

“On day one we played Riverina and won 17-12, afterwards we played Sydney East and after a close 5-5 at half time we narrowly lost. Our final game for the day was against MacKillop going down 45-7,” Watts explained.

Day two started with a big win for the boys against Western with the final score being 34-7. However the last two games for the day resulted in losses against Hunter 33-7 and North Coast 38-12.

In their very last game for the carnival, North West won against Riverina 27-7 placing them 11th out of a possible 13.

“We were the best placed North West Rugby Union team in nine years,” Watts said.

Bartlett scored three tries for the week and Brooks scored one, the trio said they enjoyed meeting new people, jumping off the jetty, ten pin bowling and a team dinner.

Not only did they gain a new experience but also picked up some new skills along the way.

“I learnt how to tackle better that’s for sure,” Bartlett laughed.

They thanked Mr Watson from Kelly Plains Public and Mrs Roser-Whitney of Werris Creek Public for coaching and managing the team.

“Thanks to Mr King and Moree Public School for letting us attend and have this opportunity,” Watts said.

The North West PSSA covers a large area spanning across Tenterfield, Moree, Armidale, Tamworth, Mungindi and Coonabarabran. Although the local boys were not selected for the national side, out of 280 players, they were proud of their efforts.