Tamworth players making mark on rep stage

THE region is continuing to produce talented oztaggers and enjoy state and national success.

Currently Steve Corbett, Mitch Porter, Zeta Knight, Zarayn Knight and Jobe Bottrell are over in New Zealand representing Australia at the World Cup.

Porter is playing in the open men, Corbett the Over 35s men, (Zeta) Knight the Over 30s mixed Indigenous team, and (Zarayn) Knight and Bottrell the open men’s indigenous team.

Last month they were part of the Northern Bears sides that contested the Australian Oztag Senior Championships at Coffs Harbour.

Tamworth provided most of the players in the seven sides that competed and was also well represented in a coaching capacity.

Mick Schmiedel coached the open men and senior womens, Zeta Knight the open women, Tim Walsh the 30s men, Corbett the 35s men with Justin Downey as manager and Geoff Sharpe and Jeff Faint the 40s, while Jock Stier was manager of the 45s.

The Bears came away from the tournament extremely excited by what was probably some of their best overall results.

“At this level, all other areas have the opportunity to combine with their allocated regions to form their sides which makes us proud to think we can not only be competitive, but win games with what are almost stand-alone Tamworth teams,” Tamworth Oztag’s Pam Potts said.

“Where other regions strengthen their sides by combining, we manage to compete with what are almost our State Cup teams plus a few extras and still be up there with the metro areas.” 

Out of the seven sides, four teams went through to the quarter-finals on the Sunday. 

The open women and 40s men were knocked out there, while the 35s and 40s went onto the semis. 

The 35s Men lost 5-3 but the 45s won their semi and went on to face Souths in the final.

They didn’t let the likes of Cliff Lyons or Geoff Hardy put them off and played an awesome game to only go down 4-3 and finish runners-up.

It was a great effort from the side, some of whom were involved in the Over 40s final a couple of years back and took out the division.

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