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Australian Schools Rugby News : Australian Schools Rugby News October 2009
Colleges rugby made a decision to remodel their rugby programs based upon the zone system and borrowed many ideas from the extremely successful CHS or NSW Combined High Schools model. "We saw NSW Combined Catholic Colleges as having more in common with the CHS system and restructured our programs based upon their successful model... The sheer numbers and vast distances we were dealing with created challenges but moving to a zone system rather a system based around individual schools brought a sound and manageable structure to the state wide entity" (Chris Hicks NSWCCC Rugby Convenor). In 2009 the NSWCCC conducted the largest secondary schoolboy rugby selection carnival in NSW with some 370 students and 40 coaches and officials descending upon the University of Western Sydney's Hawkesbury campus for a 2 day rugby tournament. The visible results for NSWCCC Rugby have been swift and in 2009 NSWCCC U18's defeated NSW Country Schools and NSWCHS for the first time since the inception of the ISA and the departure of many large Catholic Colleges to the ISA competition. The seminal victory of the NSWCCC U18's was followed soon after by the NSWCCC U16's victory over a combined Government Schools team the next day. Against the Tongans the NSWCCC went down 32 to 8 with the Tongan side scoring five tries to one after leading 15-nil at half time. It was a much stronger performance from the visitors who went down to Australia A at the weekend 60-6. NSW Catholic Colleges try was scored by breakaway Zach Fell, from St Edward's College in Gosford and Gordon Rugby Club juniors, with schoolmate and half, Julian Bacigalupo, kicking a penalty goal. It was Fell's second crack at the Tongan's having played for Australia A last Saturday. The big Tongan side proved too fast and versatile for the Catholic Colleges outfit, scoring three tries in the second half. Impressive performances for NSWCCC came from NSW Schools centre Tevita Feiloakitau-Fetuani and NSW Schools Hooker Tannous Ferris. NSWCCC Coach Steve Mitchell summed up the match "We acquitted ourselves well today and the chance to play against a touring national team is a fabulous opportunity for our boys and a wonderful recognition from the Australian Schools Rugby Union of the development of NSWCCC rugby in the last few years. Indeed the vast numbers of students in Catholic Schools across Australia speak for themselves and this match and the huge strides NSWCCC has made on the field in the last few years are concrete proof that the NSWCCC has a huge role to play in the future of Australian Rugby. 10 TO COME... O o pen). "We acquitted ourselves well today and the chance to play against a touring national team is a fabulous opportunity for our boys...." -- Steve Mitchell (NSWCCC coach)