Valley duo makes NSW Country squad
CLARENCE Valley junior rugby union players Jayden Darke and Scott Geronimi have been named in the NSW Country under-15 team after helping the Far North Coast under-15s claim the Country Championships in Moree at the weekend.
Geronimi was also awarded the prestigious forward of the championship gong for his powerhouse performances.
The Clarence Valley duo was among nine FNC players selected in the NSW Country squad.
In a further sign of the Valley's rugby strength, Matteo Cervella (Yamba), Rick Mitchell (Yamba) and Dylan Spagnolo (Yamba) were also members of the FNC side, which was coached by Grafton's Don Darke.
More than 350 under-14 and -15 players from all over the state - excluding Sydney - competed at the championships
They represented eight zones from Central Coast, Hunter, Mid North Coast, Far North Coast, Central North, Central West, New England and Illawarra.
The boys played three, 30-minute minute games on Saturday, showing great skill in attack and defence to dispose of Illawarra 34-0, Central Coast 26-5 and Central West 19-10, finishing first in their pool.
The elimination semi-final was played Sunday morning against fancied rivals Hunter.
FNC displayed superior skills at the breakdown to deny Hunter possession for almost the entire 40-minute game.
The flow of quality possession and field position enabled the slick FNC backline to display their immense potential to completely shut Hunter out of the game.
FNC controlled the game beautifully and executed Don Darke's game plan to perfection to run out 16-0 winners and qualify for the final against Central West.
FNC started the final with quality control of possession and quickly exposed the Central West backline defence, running in two quick converted tries for a 14-0 early lead.
The Central West forwards could not compete at the breakdown and were constantly infringing. FNC accepted the referee's invitation for a penalty goal to go to halftime leading 17-0.
In the second half FNC crossed for another backline try and conceded a three-point penalty goal to finish the game 24-3 winners, finishing the tournament undefeated.
The other FNC players selected for the Country NSW representative squad were Jake McIntyre (Wollongbar), Alex Brown (Wollongbar), Andrew Parkes (Wollongbar), Rohan Napoli (Wollongbar), Rowen Perry (Wollongbar), Fletcher Patterson (Wollongbar) and Luke McGeary (Lismore).