Red Bend 16s claim back-to-back junior league premierships

The Red Bend Rugby League 16s with manager Paul Kelly (front left) and coach Jason Leadbitter (front right). Full team listed below.
The Red Bend Rugby League 16s with manager Paul Kelly (front left) and coach Jason Leadbitter (front right). Full team listed below.

Red Bend Junior Rugby League Club's 16s have taken out their grand final, claiming back-to-back premierships.

The blues had a convincing win against Parkes in the grand final of the Lachlan Junior Rugby League competition at Manildra last Saturday.

And what a way to end the season - as 11 of the team's players have now reached the age where they'll graduate out of the club next year.

Coach Jason Leadbitter said Red Bend side got off to a great start in Saturday's match and couldn't be stopped.

"We scored two quick tries, and never looked back from there," he said.

By half time the blues had given themselves a 22-4 lead and the Parkes team couldn't come back from that.

Matthew Noakes was named for player of the final honours, and the coach said the win was a whole-team effort.

"They all did their jobs and Parkes really had no answer," Leadbitter said.

"It was a big effort to play the way they did, but we had been practising for that, and it was all leading up to it."

The boys' hard work paid off and at full time they were winners 30-8 against the Parkes side who had pushed them to the limits in their first qualifier.

In that contest, Red Bend only gained the upper hand in the final two-and-a-half minutes of the match.

Although the blues' grand final berth was assured, they had no intention of letting that happen again and knuckled down in their week off.

And they were rewarded when it all came together.

Leadership and experience has been one of the squad's strengths and while some of those leaders will move on up after this season, there is also a strong contingent of younger players already featuring in the side who will see they have a strong future in 2020.

The other Forbes side to feature in the Lachlan competition grand finals at Manildra on Saturday were the Forbes Magpies Under 12s.

They didn't claim the title on the day, but are congratulated on an excellent season.

PICTURED ABOVE: Red Bend 16s (back) Khye Drady, Jesse Shorter, Jack Jeffery, Campbell Rubie, Oscar Ryan, Billy Phillips, Dom Calvani, Campbell Braneley, Jasper Mackay (middle) Sam Bryant, Jamon McCarthy, Isaac Sly, Austin Fay, Nic Ianni, Jordan Wilder, Jake Ticehurts, Matt Kennedy, Kane Bailey (front) Paul Kelly, Buster Lees, Darcy Leadbitter, Matt Noakes, Sam Raumati, Coby Seaton. Absent Jamie Thorpe, Sam Richards, Jason Leadbitter.

The 16s celebrating their Lachlan junior rugby league celebration.

The 16s celebrating their Lachlan junior rugby league celebration.