Tamworth players on the ball at oztag tourney

TAMWORTH was well represented in last weekend’s Australian Barbarians Oztag tournament, with 15 players pulling on either the green and gold or Barbarians colours.

The tournament was played at St Gregory’s Campbelltown and was brought in to replace the annual Trans Tasman Test series, with the New Zealanders deciding not to come.

It was originally meant to be played in April but was washed out then and postponed a couple of months.

The future, present and past were all on show, with divisions from juniors up to seniors.

Tamworth oztaggers (from left) Taylor Holcombe, Abby Schmiedel,  Bronte Harris, Megan Murphy and Steph Fulwood all played for either Australia or the Australian Barbarians last weekend. Photo: Barry Smith 190614BSE01

Tamworth oztaggers (from left) Taylor Holcombe, Abby Schmiedel, Bronte Harris, Megan Murphy and Steph Fulwood all played for either Australia or the Australian Barbarians last weekend. Photo: Barry Smith 190614BSE01

In each division the teams played one another three times. 

Tamworth’s involvement started in the U16s, with Bronte Walsh playing for the Australian side.

They won all three of their games as did Abby Schmiedel’s 18s side.

She had a big tournament, scoring four tries in the three games.

She also found herself up against a few familiar faces, with Taylor Holcombe, Megan Murphy and Steph Fulwood all playing for the Barbarians.

For Holcombe and Fulwood, it followed on from representative duties with the Australian Indigenous side last year, and was a good experience despite the result.

Harris is also a talented touch player and has recently been away with the Northern Eagles and North West sides.

Zarayn Knight was also part of the 18s boys’ Australian side  but couldn’t make it to the photo shoot as he was on his way back from Taren Point where he’d been playing at the state carnival.

Mick McKinnon and Garth Pennefather meanwhile played for the Australian 50s, Scott Fitzgerald and Richard Rowlings the Barbarians 50s, Dave Barnett, Jeff Faint and Darren Avery the Barbarians 40s, Steve Corbett the Australian 35s and Tiffany Walsh the senior mixed Barbarians.

The Aussies won the 50s but it was a tight tussle.

“It was pretty close,” Fitzgerald said.

“There was only one game where we got away a bit,” Pennefather added.

That was in the second game.

For both him and Fitzgerald it was their first time playing for an Australian side.

The focus for all the contingent is now on the national championships.

For the juniors, that will be in October and the seniors, November.

The Australian side for next year’s World Cup will be selected from those.

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