Young and Cootamundra to lock horns in opening round

Tom Bush gets brought to ground during the 2019 season. The Cherrypickers begin their 2020 campaign at home on Sunday, April 19. Photo: file
Tom Bush gets brought to ground during the 2019 season. The Cherrypickers begin their 2020 campaign at home on Sunday, April 19. Photo: file

Young will begin their 2020 campaign at home against Cootamundra Bulldogs.

The Group Nine draw has just been released with an all Sunday round to kick things off on April 19.

With Canberra Raiders hosting Newcastle Knights in a NRL game at Wagga's Equex Centre on April 18, all five games will be played the following day.

While Young and Cootmundra face off at Alfred Oval, Kangaroos head to Tumut, Albury hosts Brothers at Greenfield Park, Southcity tackles Temora at Harris Park and Junee plays Gundagai at Laurie Daley Oval.

Another five Sunday games will follow due to Anzac Day.

The first grand final rematch between Tumut and Southcity will be played at Harris Park in round six.

The majority of the 16 rounds, which was cut down from 18 at the annual general meeting last year, will feature one Saturday clash.

However three have been booked in for July 4 with Cootamundra to host Temora, Kangaroos host Brothers while Gundagai travels to face Tumut.

Games between Southcity and Albury as well as Young and Junee will be played the following day.

It leads into the split round 12 over July 12, 18 and 19.

The split round is designed to give clubs another bye throughout the season to go along with the general bye for the Queen's Birthday long weekend in June.

Finals start on August 22 with the grand final on September 13.

The new-look draw has brought a change to the Group Nine pre-season nines.

The competition is back for a second season but with the later date of March 28 and will be held at Laurie Daley Oval.

While each team will still play three games before the top sides qualify for the final there have been changes in an attempt to shorten the day.

Group Nine operations manager Bob Hay said the move was made following feedback from the inaugural running at Cootamundra.

"Last year we moved all the semi-finals onto the one ground, the girls and boys, but this year we are going to keep going on two grounds," Hay said.

"It will significantly shorten the day."

Young's opening 9 weeks:

  1. v Cootamundra (home)
  2. v Junee (away)
  3. v Tumut (away)
  4. v Kangaroos (home)
  5. v Gundagai (away)
  6. v Brothers (away)
  7. v Southcity (home)
  8. v Temora (home)
  9. v Albury (away)

Round one, Sunday, April 19

  • Albury v Brothers
  • Junee v Gundagai
  • Southcity v Temora
  • Tumut v Kangaroos
  • Young v Cootamundra