Undefeated Tigers and Mounties in NSW Cup Blockbuster


Aubrey Keech Reserve is your quintessential park football ground. Nestled in suburbia in Sydney’s south-west, it’s as close and as far away to the National Rugby League as you can possibly imagine.

The northern end of the field is shadowed by houses, only separated by a quiet street. To the south is a hill with a children’s play area and across to the east, the field seems to run forever with a soccer field saddling parallel to the main field. The dressing rooms, where the players run out, leads to a small area where the local fans sit, huddled together in the wintery winds.

On most Saturdays you can find the Mounties club here, whether it be the VB NSW Cup, Ron Massey Cup or the Sydney Shield. The day goes quick for the fans, amongst friends, giving their expert analysis on last night’s NRL blockbusters and what Mounties have to do in the second half to get the two competition points.

It’s a world away from the glitz and glamour that rugby league has become, a stark reminder to those on the verge of the NRL or dropped back by the Canberra Raiders NRL side.

The partnership between Mounties and the Raiders isn’t a hard sell to the supporters. In last weekend’s big win over Manly-Warringah, the home side boasted the likes of Kyle O’Donnell, Kurt Baptiste, Glen Buttriss, Mark Nicholls and Sam Williams. Yet the cog that makes Mounties really work is the nucleus of local talent that gives them that real spirit, that tribalism that most, if not all NSW Cup teams simply lack.

This club, this NSW Cup team, has been perennial bridesmaids, always competitive but never quite good enough.

Mounties is a club making the right moves in 2015 and sit 3-0 after three rounds.

The challenge will once again come later in the year if and when the Raiders need players due to form issues or injury.

This weekend Mounties will face fellow undefeated outfit Wests Tigers in the blockbuster match of the NSW Cup thus far.

Both teams have been clinical to start the year and this showdown at Leichhardt Oval will leave one of the two with their first loss of the year.

Aubrey Keech Reserve and Leichhardt Oval are nothing alike but at the end of the day, only the eighty minutes on the field matters.

And while the NSW Cup team will be over in Sydney’s inner west, in the most demographically odd local derby you’ll find in rugby league, footy will still be played out at Aubrey Keech.

Catch it live from 2pm Saturday on radiohub.com.au as #EightyOneRadio bring you all the action of Wests Tigers vs Mounties #VBNSWCup.

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