Reserve grade determined to break 15 year premiership drought

Key players five-eighth Matt Murray, hooker Sam Norton, front-rower Stewart James and lock Angus Smith will look to lead reserves to grand final glory.
Key players five-eighth Matt Murray, hooker Sam Norton, front-rower Stewart James and lock Angus Smith will look to lead reserves to grand final glory.

Robert Bush is confident the Cherrypickers have the side to break a 15 year Group Nine Burmeister Shield Reserve Grade premiership drought.

The side's manager said grand final glory would be "just rewards" for the amount of effort the players and officials have put in in 2019.

He said overcoming some demons from 2018 and avoiding being knocked out in two straight finals games last week was a massive boost for the side, easily accounting for Southcity 30-4 in the preliminary final.

Now Bush is hopeful the side can use that momentum to cap a successful season on a high, and add more silverware to the cabinet having won the minor premiership.

"There's so many boys in this team that have never played in a grand final so it means a lot to them. Only a handful have played grand finals and that would have been in juniors, none of them have played in a reserve grade or first grade grand final," Bush said.

"I just think it'd be just rewards for all the work they put in all year. Some of the guys are aged 25 or 27 or even 30 and never won a grand final. They have all put a lot of effort in, 100 per cent all season so it would be a real reward.

"If we were beat last weekend we would have felt we underachieved. For a reserve grade side they've all turned up and been really committed. They're a tight bunch which helps make it work."

Young meets Gundagai Tigers in the grand final, the only side they haven't beaten this season and a side who beat them 28-12 in the second week of finals.

Bush says the gameplan won't change from last week, with an emphasis on winning the battle in the middle of the park to allow opportunity for their speedy backline.

"Our forwards were really good. It gave Nick [Bush] and Matt [Murray] the opportunity to do their stuff with the backline. We have a very fast backline. So hopefully our forwards can over the top of them," he said.

Kick-off is set for 1.30pm at Wagga's Equex Centre.

Young Cherrypickers reserve grade:

  • 1 Jake Veney, 2 Joshua Reynolds, 3 Jacob Hardy, 4 Trent Veney, 5 Damian Slater, 6 Matt Murray, 7 Nick Bush, 8 Harry Nowlan, 9 Sam Norton, 10 Stewart James, 11 Will Manwaring, 12 Casey Wall, 13 Angus Smith. 14 Riley Manwaring, 15 Jason Brown, 16 Bailey Coombes, 17 Jirrah Rausuvanua, 18 Will Dunn, 19 Lane Edwards, 20 Justin Kelly, 21 Jack Bush