North Sydney make NSW State Cup debut
North Sydney have made their NSW State Cup debut on the opening day of the 2019 senior championships in Coffs Harbour.
Despite a local Oztag competition only starting in the area 18 months ago, the Bears were eager to test themselves against the state’s best.
“It was a bit of a baptism of fire this morning,” North Sydney Bears self appointed skipper Joel Holmes told Oztag Australia.
“We played a team that were in the grand final last year and they gave us a bit of a towel up early. But we regrouped at half time and came out a different side in the second half and played really well from that point on.”
While the second half resurgence wasn’t enough to claim North Sydney’s first State Cup victory, Holmes seems confident that they’ll break their duck egg sooner rather then later.
“We’re playing on field one this afternoon so we’re all really looking forward to that,” he said.
“We’ve got plenty of talent in the side, but it always takes a bit of time to get used to playing with one another. I think we’ve got players from five different local teams, so it’s a really good representation of the North Sydney competition actually.”
“If we play like we did in the second half, I think we’ll be hard to beat this afternoon.”
Holmes, an immigration dodging Englishman who initially moved to Australia to referee at the Tag World Cup said the North Sydney competition is growing quickly and has a fantastic feel to it.
“It’s a very social and friendly competition. It actually reminds me a lot of Tag in London,” he said.
“Most of the players live nearby the fields and we usually have plenty of family and friends come down to watch. Then most of the teams hang around after the games and watch the others, which really adds to the atmosphere.”
While the Bears have targeted a spot in the finals in their first tournament, Holmes said the main priority was to enjoy the experience as they get used to playing representative Oztag.
“We want to play in the finals, we’ve all agreed on that but if we don’t leave with a medal, it won’t be the end of the world.
“As a group we decided at the start that our main goal was to really enjoy ourselves and I think we’re certainly ticking that box. If we keep doing that then I think the results on the field will sort themselves out.”
“We’ve also decided on a double denim theme for Sunday night. So if you fancy a Canadian tuxedo, feel free to come and join us.”