New South Wales polocrosse players.
New South Wales polocrosse players. Emma Channon

Polocrosse youngsters aim high

THE New South Wales junior teams had just one goal in mind yesterday afternoon: To defeat Queensland on home turf.

The two teams – the Blues and Waratahs – weren’t letting their long journey affect their determination yesterday, ahead of the opening game of the NTI Rosebowl Polocrosse Carnival at Morgan Park.

The 12 junior players have travelled up to 1200km from towns as far as Narrabri, Albury, the southern coast and Holbrook to compete in the carnival.

Their parents were mildly apprehensive about the players’ lack of sleep but said they were anything but underprepared.

The players themselves said they lived for polocrosse carnivals such as this.

“It’s so much fun; it’s really good,” 11-year-old Nathan said.

“I’ve been playing (polocrosse) for about two years and just love it.”

All players were aged 11 and 12 and some of them were riding horses before they could walk.

Warwick’s Morgan Park was by far the longest carnival the players had travelled for, but they said the smooth-running games and impeccable facilities made it well worth the trip.

“It took us a couple of days to get here,” 12-year-old Hannah Scobie said.

“It doesn’t worry the horses – they’re pretty good but you just want to arrive.”

Some of them had visited Morgan Park previously, to see the World Cup unfold in 2007.

The players said while it was great to catch up with friends they hadn’t seen since last polocrosse season, the best part about a two-state carnival was being able to settle grudges.

Johnny Ward, 12, joked he was looking forward to “smashing” the Queensland side on home turf.

“There’s a bit of rivalry between the two states,” he laughed.

“They beat us last time on home territory but only by two points.”

Hugh Anderson said the New South Wales players had a few tricks up their sleeves, but didn’t want to reveal any.

He did say it was important to work as a team.

Asked whether they would win, they all answered “of course” without hesitation.

Admission to the polocrosse this weekend is $12 a day/night or $6/night and games kick off today and tomorrow from 8.30am.

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