Canberra Raiders Cup, under-18s grand final
Who: Bungendore Tigers v Tuggeranong Bushrangers Blue
Where: Seiffert Oval
When: Sunday, 10am
BUNGENDORE Tigers under-18s captain Patrick Pryor has endured an anxious week on two fronts over the past few days in the lead up to this weekend’s grand final showdown against the Tuggeranong Bushrangers.
Not only has the hard-running forward been preparing for one of the biggest games of his young career, Pryor has also been left to endure an anxious wait after trialling with the Cronulla Sharks last weekend.
Pryor attended the invitational trial in Sydney on Sunday but is yet to hear back from the NRL club.
“There were a lot of big boys up there but I held my own pretty well I think,” Pryor said. “They said they’d ring or send us a letter in the mail if we’re successful so I’m just waiting to see what comes of it really. “If they pick me up I imagine I’ll need to get contracted and move up to Cronulla and I don’t really know happens after that.
“That’s the dream though, to play footy for a living and everyone’s got to start somewhere.”
Pryor was a part of the Canberra Raiders SG Ball development squad in 2011 and 2012 but has been unable to force his way into the side. A serious foot injury that saw him sidelined for 12 months did little to help Pryor’s cause.
But the apprentice plumber is now back at full fitness and hopeful of putting his name back into the frame at the next level. Along with his opportunity at the Sharks, Pryor also has a trial lined up with the Canberra Raiders under-20s on Saturday.
Sunday meanwhile, will see Pryor lead the Tigers out against Tuggeranong in the Canberra Raiders Cup under-18s Zone 2 grand final.
Bungendore produced its best performance of the year to down the Bushrangers 26-6 in the major semi-final two weeks ago. The Tigers comfortably accounted for the minor premiers despite playing with just 12-men for the final hour of the match after a first-half send off.
This year marks the first time Bungendore has qualified a side for the under-18s decider, a result that has come despite the club struggling with player numbers all season.
“We’ve finally started to get a few boys back, the last few weeks we’ve had a bit of trouble with some of the boys playing [rugby] union and doing other things,” Pryor said of the side’s dominant performance in the semi-final.
“We’ve struggled to get 13 players to a game all year basically but we had 18 there a couple of weeks ago and went out and stuck it to them.
“It was definitely our best game all year but even saying that, we can still play better. Actually getting all the boys to training for a couple of weeks is only going to help us.”