The Canberra Region representative side will take on the Newcastle Rebels in the first round of semi-finals of the 2015 AAMI Senior Country Championships at Kirkham Park, Camden this Saturday, 13th June.
Canberra defeated North Coast 20-10 opening match of the championships whilst this will be Newcastle’s first match of the championships due to the tiered nature of the draw.
Newcastle is again ranked as one of the best sides in the championships and the Rebels will be striving to go one better this year after falling 22-20 to Illawarra in last year’s decider.
The winners of this weekend’s matches will advance to the Tier One and Tier Two AAMI Senior Country Championship Grand Finals in Mudgee on Saturday, 20th June.
Canberra Coach Simon Woolford has been fortunate enough to be able to name an extremely strong line-up for the clash with Newcastle. Woolford has favoured club combinations as well as having the luxury of four former first graders at his disposal in Marc Herbert, Trevor Thurling and Joe and Mick Picker.
The strong line-up, combinations and confidence derived from the victory over North Coast has left Woolford feeling confident as the team heads into the first round of semi-finals.
“We’ve assembled a really strong team and if you have a look through our team there are a lot of players there with a lot of NRL experience which will be invaluable during the tournament, especially when you’ve only got a few sessions to get things right,” Woolford said.
“We’ve got the team to win it this year there’s no doubt about that but we need to prepare well and continue our form from the win over North Coast. You can pick the strongest team possible but you still need to prepare well and turn up ready to play on the day and that’s what we’re focused on because Newcastle will be tough to beat.”
Canberra’s full team line-up is as follows:
1. Tom Ruediger Queanbeyan Blues
2. Junior Vatikani Goulburn Workers Bulldogs
3. Tyler Stevens Queanbeyan Blues
4. Codie Medway Goulburn Workers Bulldogs
5. Jake Wheeler Queanbeyan Blues
6. Michael Picker Goulburn Workers Bulldogs
7. Marc Herbert (c) Queanbeyan Blues
8. Sam Conlon Goulburn Workers Bulldogs
9. Ben Picker Goulburn Workers Bulldogs
10. Aaron McInnes Queanbeyan Blues
11. Joe Picker Goulburn Workers Bulldogs
12. Trevor Thurling Queanbeyan Blues
13. Blake Hewitt Goulburn Workers Bulldogs
14. Chris Thorley Gungahlin Bulls
15. Josh Ayers Gungahlin Bulls
16. Scott Rutland Queanbeyan Blues
17. Sione Taka Woden Valley Rams
Coach: Simon Woolford
Managers: Tom Ebsworth and Joe Stephens
Trainers: Ernie Maclay, Alan High and Ian Baker
This year’s Championships are set to receive more exposure than ever, with the CRL linking with BarTV Sports to Live Stream this year’s Senior Semi-Finals and Finals.
BarTV Sports will provide live coverage of the Senior Semi-Finals on Saturday, June 13 in Camden and U16s, U18s, Tier One and Tier Two Finals on Saturday, June 20 in Mudgee.
AAMI Senior Country Championship Semi-Finals
10:00am – Greater Northern Tigers v North Coast. Live Stream Link - https://youtu.be/jBOlfZRU-pg
11:40am – Greater Southern Stars v Riverina. Live Stream Link - https://youtu.be/DuasDg41KnQ
1:20pm – Newcastle Rebels v Canberra. Live Stream Link - https://youtu.be/b3vVhKfr0Ws
3:00pm – Illawarra v Central Coast Centurions. Live Stream Link - https://youtu.be/O1Q6DI9D7ms
2015 AAMI Senior Country Championships Draw
Round 1 – 23rd May, Forster
Central Coast 40 def. Greater Southern Stars 16
Canberra 20 def. North Coast 10
Round 2 – 30th May, Bathurst
11:00am - Riverina 32 def. NRRL 16
2:00pm – Northern Tigers 48 def. Western Rams 40
Round 3 – 13th June, Camden
e) North Coast v Greater Northern Tigers
f) Greater Southern Stars v Riverina
g) Newcastle v Canberra
h) Illawarra v Central Coast
Finals – 20th June, Mudgee
Tier 2 Final – Winners e) v f)
Tier 1 Final – Winners g) v h)