The Canberra Region Representative side will look to break a 16 year drought when they lock horns with defending premiers Illawarra in the final of the 2015 AAMI Country Championships at Glen Willow Regional Sports Stadium, Mudgee on Saturday, 20th June.
Canberra last won the Country Championships back in 1999 however Coach Simon Woolford is confident that he has the side to bring the crown back to the ACT.
“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 has been invaluable during the tournament,” 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 wins over North Coast and Newcastle. 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 Illawarra will be tough to beat.”
Illawarra defeated Newcastle to take out the 2014 title and former Raiders forward Trevor Thurling believes that the defending champions will again be hard to beat.
“Newcastle was tough to beat last week and we took a lot of confidence out of that win but we know that Illawarra will be another step up from that,” Thurling said. “They have a lot of experience and have been one of the top teams at the Country Championships for a number of years.
“We know that it will be a tough challenge but we’re confident that we can come away with the win and bring the trophy back to Canberra.”
There will be a minute’s silence before the kick-off to the Tier One Final in honour of former CRL President and General Manager David Barnhill.
3:00pm – AAMI Tier One Country Championship Final
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. Ben Marmont Goulburn Workers Bulldogs
16. Scott Rutland Queanbeyan Blues
17. Josh Ayers Gungahlin Bulls
18. Tsai Tui Queanbeyan Blues
1. Wayne BREMNER (Helensburgh)
2. Azan TUROA (Helensburgh)
3. Tremaine Jensen (Western Suburbs)
4. Nathan SMITH (Corrimal)
5. Mitch PORTER (Dapto)
6. Jarrod BOYLE (Helensburgh)
7. Blake WALLACE (Western Suburbs)
8. Matt HANDCOCK (Dapto)
9. Joel JOHNSON (Thirroul)
10. Steve McCALLUM (Helensburgh)
11. Chris LEWIS (Helensburgh)
12. Peni BOTIKI (Western Suburbs)
13. Jarrod THOMPSON © (Collegians)
14. Brody RIGG (Corrimal)
16. Jacob DENFORD (Corrimal)
18. Jake HAWKINS (Dapto)
19. Josh VAARTJES (Dapto)
20. Jokatama DOKONIVALU (Helensburgh)
This year’s AAMI Country Championship Finals can be enjoyed by Rugby League fans across the country as all matches will be Live Streamed via BarTV Sports from 10am on Saturday.
U16's Bidgee Bulls v Greater Northern Tigers: https://youtu.be/bU14yMu5n5Q
U18's Bidgee Bulls v Newcastle: https://youtu.be/C5AZOPmtWj8
Tier 2 Riverina v Greater Northern Tigers: https://youtu.be/8toApLRYMu4
Tier 1 Canberra v Illawarra: https://youtu.be/WQmCjCvBr_c