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Newcomers for the Bathurst 10s crowned champions

By Vittorio Travan

In a tournament of so many firsts’, both the Bathurst Bulldogs women’s side and the Newcastle Wanders have claimed their maiden titles in the Building Durability Bathurst 10s.

This year’s edition saw an expanded men’s competition with 10 sides converging on Bathurst, while 6 sides also competed in the maiden voyage of the women’s championship.

Sides from Avoca Beach, Wollongong, Red Dog Rugby Club, CSU Mitchell, Bathurst Bulldogs and Eastern Suburbs Rugby Club competed in the inaugural women’s championship.

While the men’s competition featured defending champions Easts and last year’s grand finalist Newcastle Seaman. Red Dog Rugby again featured a star-studded line-up which included former Newcastle Knights prop Josh Starling, and Bathurst Bulldogs returned with a very young but enthusiastic squad.

This year’s edition also marked the first appearances for CSU Mitchell, Newcastle Wanders, Orange Blowfish, Wollongong, Cooks Hill Brown Snakes and the Sydney Harlequins.

Tournament director and founder of Red Dog Rugby Club Michael Palmer said the tournament was simply a way to celebrate everything that is great about rugby.

“The day is all about celebrating and promoting great rugby and friendship. We are in our third year now [here in Bathurst], and it has simply been just a great example of what these tournaments are all about.”

Palmer added that the addition of the women’s competition was simply just a natural progression for the tournament to take.

“In the first two year’s we just wanted to make sure that there was a real interest in the tournament. We wanted to make sure we were going to offer a great product for the women to be involved in, so including them in this year’s festivities was simply the next logical step.”

See below for a little insight into the fun that was had by all at Anne Ashwood Park yesterday:


In a day that was filled with big hits, intercept tries and great running rugby, Palmer says he could not have asked for more from the day.

“We had over 170 players come down for a full day of rugby with the girls mixing it with the boys sides. It was literally a perfect display of what community rugby and country rugby is all about.”

The finals were a hotly contested space as they were decided after the men’s sides played three matches and the women’s side played two matches in general pool play. In the Women’s Cup final, Bathurst continued their 2018 dominance as they completed a very strong defensive effort to ensure their 12 – nil victory over Red Dog Rugby Club. The third place play off saw the Wollongong side account for the Avoca Beach side.

While in the Men’s Cup Final, Newcastle Wanders upset the 2016 and 2017 defending champions Easts, again thanks to a brilliant defensive effort claiming a 17-12 victory. The Wanders spent the majority of the match in defence but an early try in the second half and a late intercept with three minutes to go helped secure the victory. Although, the Wanders did fight of the fast finishing Easts side who spent the last minute inside their attacking 22, before conceding a penalty in the last ten seconds for holding onto the ball in the ruck.

The Men’s Plate was not as closely contested with, Lachie Harris leading a very young but experienced Orange Blobfish side to a 5 tries to nil victory of tournament debutantes CSU Mitchell. Harris and co, produced some scintillating running rugby that was just too much for the Mitchell men, who were using the tournament to prepare the summer’s upcoming rugby 7s and 10s carnivals.

Red Dog Rugby Club Building Durability Bathurst 10s Results:
Women’s Cup Final: Bathurst Bulldogs defeated Red Dog 12 – 0
Women’s Plate Final: Wollongong defeated Avoca
Men’s Cup Final: Newcastle Wanders defeated Easts Rugby Club 17 – 12
Men’s Plate Final: Orange Blobfish defeated CSU Mitchell 30 – 0

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