East Campbelltown Eagles reached the semi final stage of this year’s rugby league international 9s competition held over the last weekend of January.
Last year’s Sydney Shield premiers were narrowly defeated in the semi final by the eventual winners of the tournament, but had still got their new season off to a great start at St Marys.
Some of the participating International 9s teams included a number of local sides as well as Fiji, Malta, Philippines, Canada, Samoa, Tonga and an Indigenous side.
After being placed in Pool H – along with Fiji, Concord Burwood and the Phillipines – the Eagles boys knew it would be a challenging few games if they were to get through to the knock out stages.
Not surprisingly, the Eagles performed very well in winning all three pool matches, beating Fiji 14-12, the Philippines 24-4 and Burwood 14-10.
Following their tremendous effort in the group stage, the Eagles qualified for the semi finals and were pitted against the Blacktown Workers side.
Unfortunately, after a hard fought game the Eagles narrowly went down on the bell to be beaten 26-22.
Blacktown went on to win the tournament and be crowned Bowl champions.
Eagles coach Richard Barnes said afterwards that he was impressed with the Eagles squad’s effort and enthusiasm.
“I was very happy with the way the squad performed, especially the up and coming players from our 18s and 19s squad – they played really well,’’ Barnes said.
“We have a bright future here at the Eagles, with our current side and the young guys coming through.”