The Wollongong Devils have flexed their muscles ahead of this year's State Cup after two Illawarra teams enjoyed an undefeated NSW Country Championships campaign on the weekend.
The Devils women's 30s team and men's 40s side were both in red-hot form across Saturday and Sunday in Mudgee, overcoming all challengers on their way to being crowned champions.
The wins continue Wollongong's history of strong performance at the country titles and is the perfect stepping stone as the Devils continue gearing up the NSW Touch State Cup. The state's premier touch football competition will be held in Port Macquarie in early December.
Wollongong Touch vice-president Tim Robinson said it was a great showing by his club at the country championships.
"A few of our women's open players joined a few newer and inexperienced players of their game, who came away for their first rep tournament in the women's 30s. And they combined really well," he said.
"And the men's 40s was filled with a bunch of old heads, some of them played 40s last year and others played 40s for the first time. It was great to see them both go through and not just win, but be unbeaten. Both teams played seven games across the weekend so it was pretty good.
"We sent five teams this year and out of those five, we had those two winners, and then the men's 30s lost in the final to Mudgee by one. While it was a different team this year, we were the defending champions from last year.
"And then the mixed open team - who lost the final last year to Port Macquarie - got through to the final again this year but lost to Wallsend."
However, Robinson expects the club's mixed opens to be one of the sides to beat in Port Macquarie.
"They had a bit of a different squad compared to what they'll be running at the State Cup," he said.
"They also had a few injuries throughout the country championships, so they were pretty depleted when they got to finals time. That's a replica of what happened to them last year, and they went on to win the State Cup. So it was more of a building block for them and about getting bodies right for the State Cup.
"We now have six weeks to prepare for the State Cup. We also have three teams alive in the Vawdon Cup (Sydney metropolitan competition) finals, so some of those players involved in the State Cup are currently playing in the Vawdon.
"We'll be sending five teams to Port Macquarie."
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