Six Bears don Southern Inland jersey at NSW State Championships in Camden

NEXT LEVEL: Sam Gash, James Paterson, Lachie Smirl, Sam Sharman, Rhyley Kennedy and Jake Blackney represented Southern Inland at the NSW State Rugby Championships in Camden. Picture: Contributed
NEXT LEVEL: Sam Gash, James Paterson, Lachie Smirl, Sam Sharman, Rhyley Kennedy and Jake Blackney represented Southern Inland at the NSW State Rugby Championships in Camden. Picture: Contributed

Six Cootamundra Junior Bears players were selected to play for Southern Inland Rugby Unions (SIRU) representative team earlier this year which competed in the NSW State Championships in Camden last weekend.

Rhyley Kennedy, Jake Blackney, Sam Sharman, Lachlan Smirl, James Patterson, Sam Gash donned the SIRU jersey and put forward impressive displays reminiscent of the trademark skill and toughness that saw the Bears to their 2016 title.

The boys took the field in appalling conditions but fought bravely against more experienced opponents from Randwick (lost 24-0) and Warringah (lost 15-5), before falling 32-0 against 2016 finalists Penrith in the wet.

A revised Sunday schedule saw the SIRU side take on Central Coast in Moss Vale and fight out a gritty 0-0 draw before ongoing rainfall prompted officials to cancel the majority of remaining games, including SIRU’s. 

While SIRU failed to feature in the finals, club president Scott Sharman said the Bears’ boys were very competitive at representative level and did themselves proud.