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ORL steps up

Wednesday, 23rd April, 2014

United in a trial match against the Menindee Eagles earlier this month United in a trial match against the Menindee Eagles earlier this month

By United in a trial match against the Menindee Eagles earlier this month.

Weekly double headers and a festival atmosphere will make 2014 the biggest year for the Outback Rugby League since its return in 2007.

The return of Broken Hill United to the senior’s competition adds another exciting element to an already packed season.

The 2014 season will kick off with the annual Sunraysia tournament on April 26. This season it will be a 9s competition feeding off the success of National Rugby Leagues Auckland 9s tournament.

The ORL clubs have fared well in recent years and will look to improve on recent outings against the larger Sunraysia sides.

The season proper will kick off two weeks later on May 10. A double header in Broken Hill will begin the season, highlighted by the return of Broken Hill United to the competition who play their old rivals the Broken Hill Saints in the main game with kick off at 3pm.

The juniors are back again this season with a change to age groups. Age groups will now be Under 11s, 13s, 15s and 17s. The reason for the change is to make the transition from juniors to seniors much easier for younger players.

Any juniors who are too young to participate in weekend competitions are invited to participate in Broken Hill’s Backyard League Centre, which will be run on Thursdays for six weeks during term two at AJ Keast Park. Kicking off on May 22 from 5pm and includes free registration to the BYL program and the Broken Hill PCYC.

Other key featured games during the season include the grand final rematch between the Broken Hill Saints and Wilcannia Boomerangs (Round 2, Wilcannia. Round 9 Broken Hill). Menindee Yabbies and Menindee Wedge-Tailed Eagles renew their local rivalry in Rounds 3 and 10. The Boomerangs face Wilcannia rivals the Parntu Warriors in Round 5 and 12.

For the first time the Outback Rugby League will help celebrate NAIDOC week with a 9s tournament on July 5. All ORL clubs and the Murray Darling Eels from Dareton will be invited to participate in the tournament.

The juniors will also have two visits from South Australian sides during the season. The first visit will be on a Friday afternoon (June 20) and the second visit to be held during the middle school holidays. These representative games are a great opportunity for Outback Rugby League juniors to further develop their skills and possibly be noticed by bigger city clubs.

During the season each community will host a festival of wellbeing in partnership with NSW Sport & Rec and local organisations. The festivals are been held to promote the Act-Belong-Commit message aiming to increase awareness surrounding mental health, and to promote volunteering and community engagement within the ORL clubs.

For the first time since 2007, the ORL final series will be contested by the top four sides on the table. First place will play second place to see who goes through to the Grand Final and earns a week’s rest. Third place and Fourth place will plan an elimination final, the winning playing the loser of First v Second for a place in the Grand Final.

The Grand Final will be held on Saturday, June 6, at Broken Hill’s Memorial Oval. The Outback Rugby League’s move there has been a huge success and we look forward to a bigger and better Grand Final day this season.

The Outback Rugby League would like to thank all major sponsors for season 2014.

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