Raymond Terrace Roosters young guns claim Under 14 Newcastle Maitland Regional premiership

Raymond Terrace Roosters celebrate their Newcastle Maitland Regional Under 14 Div 1 premiership triumph over Valentine Devils.

RAYMOND Terrace Roosters Junior Rugby League Club have something special to crow about.

The club’s promising batch of 14-year-olds are celebrating premiership glory in the Newcastle Maitland Regional Division One competition after edging out rivals Valentine in a Grand Final classic at Keith Barry Oval.

Strapping Roosters prop Declan Halliday capped a super game by crashing through tackles to score the title-clinching try in extra time.

The emerging front rower took out the official Player of the Match award – turning in a powerhouse display with his strong running, punishing defence and clever offloads a feature of the stirring trophy win.

Both sides were locked 18-all at full time before Halliday’s heroics helped the Roosters snatch premiership honours.

“Our Under 14s produced consistent displays this season to claim the minor premiership and hit their straps during the finals series,” Roosters Club President Craig Langdon told News Of The Area.

“Coach Luke Locking did a tremendous job with the squad in the top division and was able to nurture an exciting array of young talent,” he quipped.

“They are fine ambassadors for our club and have worked very hard to achieve success in 2023 and deserve all the accolades,” Langdon added.

Led by skilful five eighth Charlie Burey, the Roosters gained sweet revenge for last year’s Grand Final loss to the Devils in Under 13s.

Powerful back rower Oliver Lawrence and gun centre Darryn Vaggs were also stand outs in a stirring team effort.

The talented Burey spearheaded a slick back division that included dashing fullback Riley Rostron, centres Vaggs and Joseph Pfeifer, wingers Brock Bailey and Nathaniel Curry and clever half back Jonte Burns.

Raymond Terrace boasted a fearless forward pack led by impact prop Halliday, second rower Lawrence, front rower Xzavier Charlie, hooker Kayde Handsaker, back rower Latrell Aranas and lock forward Jesse Sepos with added depth in substitute players Isaac Mabb, Charlie McFadyen, Joseph Trinkler, Kobi Wells and Rhyder Pirini.

Coach Locking was assisted by manager Fiona Aranas and trainers Luke Burey, Deon McFadyen and Gavin Sepos.

Vaggs, Mabb, Aranas and Halliday nabbed tries for the Roosters with Burey potting three goals while centre Malachi Faavae-Eli, second rower Max Tutt and half Rico Elers scored four pointers for the Devils with fullback Liam Martin landing three goals.

Western Suburbs Rosellas downed the Roosters 24-6 in the Under 14 Div 4 decider while undefeated Morpeth eclipsed Raymond Terrace 20-4 in the Under 15 Blue Girls Grand Final.

The Bulls were best served by outstanding half back Stephanie Holden, who scored three of Morpeth’s four tries and created havoc with her ball skills and fleet footwork.

By Chris KARAS

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