The Canberra Region representative team suffered defeat in the final of the 2015 Country Championships, going down 42-12 to a red hot Illawarra team in Mudgee on Saturday.
Illawarra opened the scoring after five minutes when they found some space on the Canberra edge to take an early lead, but Canberra was able to hit back soon after Faaee scored following some great lead up work from Joe Picker, who threw a nice short ball to send him over to score and level at 6-6 after Ben Picker’s conversion.
The game remained fairly even until the 17 minute mark when Mitchell Porter scored for Illawarra to give them back the lead, and they extended the lead to 18-6 soon after when Chris Lewis capitalised on a mistake by Canberra on their own line.
Illawarra pushed further in front after 26 minutes when their hooker Johnson scored and when Botiki scored the game looked out of reach for Canberra at 30-6 as the teams left the field for halftime.
Despite a spirited second half performance and a try to fullback Tom Ruediger, Canberra was unable to reel in the Illawarra lead and eventually went down 42-12.
There was some success for the Canberra region on the day with the under 18’s Bidgee Bulls getting a win in their final against Newcsatle 30-28, while the under 16’s Bidgee Bulls went down in their final to the Greater Northern Tigers 30-20.
Tier One Final: Illawarra 42 (W Bremmer, N Smith, M Porter, B Wallace, J Johnson, C Lewis, P Botiki tries; M Porter 7 goals) def. Canberra 12 (T Ruediger, D Faaee tries; B Picker 2 goals)
Tier Two Final: Riverina 32 (N Rose, K McCarthy, J Luff, C Woo, M Wakefiled, W Llyod tries; K McCarthy 4 goals) def. Greater Northern Tigers 22 (T Smith, A Donnelly, J Griffiths, G Mepham tries; M Nean 3 goals)
U18’s Final: Bidgee Bulls 30 (J Smith, C Hands, D Keir, D Litster, H Cowled tries; J Smith 5 goals) def. Newcastle Rebels 28 (M Cooper 2, J Wright, J Hocking, B Johnston tries; J Wright 4 goals)
U16’s Final: Greater Northern Tigers 30 (J Bradley 2, J Slater, E Sithole, W McAuliffe, F Baker tries; J Patterson 3 goals) def. Bidgee Bulls 20 (B Frankel 2, T Hazelton, L McBeath tries; M Stimson 2 goals)