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Roosters Ready to Rock Junior Reps Finals

All four of the 2024 NSWRL Junior Representative finals series will feature Roosters teams as the Club's pathways system continues to go from strength to strength.  

Starting this Saturday, April 13, the 2024 NSWRL Junior Representative finals will commence at Leichhardt Oval, with the Sydney Roosters Harold Matthews Cup (Men's Under 17s), Central Coast Roosters Lisa Fiaola Cup (Women's Under 17s) and the Sydney Roosters Indigenous Academy Tarsha Gale Cup (Women's Under 19s) sides all in action.

Meanwhile, the Sydney Roosters SG Ball Cup (Men's Under 19s) will enjoy the week off after claiming the Minor Premiership in a canter.

Head of Sydney Roosters Pathways, Blake Cavallaro, spoke on the Club's growing pathways programs, which has seen unprecedented success across the board compared to years gone by. 

“There’s been a lot of investment. We’ve created new development programs to help succeed our junior reps programs,” he said.

“The development programs will run on the other side of the year and that’s helping develop the young males and females go to that next step.

“We’ve had a big emphasis on coaching the coaches and getting a lot of feedback from Trent Robinson all the way down. Through both our male and female pathways, we’ve emphasised a lot of stuff that happens at the top to create a unique pathway for our players.

“Leichhardt is a great place for footy and it’s a great opportunity to see the next generation of Roosters come through.

“You’ll get to see the style of footy we’ve been playing with throughout the season so it’s a very special time to come out and support the next crop coming through our system.”

Lisa Fiaola Cup (Women's Under 17s) - 4th

In the first season as a full-length competition, the Lisa Fiaola Cup has seen the Central Coast Roosters progress to the finals, something that excites Cavallaro - who previously coached the dual-Premiership Tarsha Gale Cup side.

“It’s awesome to see how the female pathways have grown with the introduction of the Lisa Fiaola Cup," he said. 

“Our Easts team were unfortunate not to make it on for and against but our Central Coast team have been awesome through the back end of the year.

“It’s really grown and the footy has been exceptional, so I can’t wait to see what it looks like in a couple of years."

Harold Matthews Cup (Men's Under 17s) - 5th

After missing last year's finals, the Harold Matthews Cup side has bounced back, thanks to a strong development that has seen players more familiar with the Club's systems filtering through nicely. 

“Going back to our development programs, a lot of these kids in our Harold Matthews side have been here since they were thirteen years old,” Cavallaro explained. 

“We’ve brought them into camps and clinics and programs to help them get ready for this stage.

“We didn’t make the finals last year but the four years prior to that we have, so this is a really big step up.

“We’re looking forward to hopefully seeing them get into the next stage of the finals.”

Tarsha Gale Cup (Women's Under 19s) - 3rd 

With a new coach and a few changes in personnel, the Sydney Roosters Indigenous Academy Tarsha Gale Cup team have had some challenges in 2024, after claiming the last two Premierships and going undefeated last season. 

Still, there is plenty of upside, especially for a team with plenty of finals experience, according to Cavallaro.

“They’ve got some really talented players and we’ve been very fortunate for the good and unique pathway,” he said. 

“This year some players have been new to the program and some have been part of it for a long time.

“This week it’s all about getting connection which will put them in good stead to go on and play in the Grand Final.”

“It’s the first time they haven’t finished the season in the top two, so it will be interesting to see how they react to that, but they looked good at training and the connection looks really good.”

SG Ball (Men's Under 19s) - 1st, Minor Premiers 

One of the stories of the entire pool of NSWRL Junior Representative teams has been the Jake Friend-coached SG Ball Sydney Roosters, who have claimed the Minor Premiership in a canter, having won all of their matches so far. 

While there is still plenty of work to be done in order to lift the Premiership trophy, Cavallaro believes that the experience in and around the NRL squad has reaped plenty of rewards for the young contingent of future Roosters. 

The SG Ball team have been fantastic all year round," Cavallaro beamed. 

“Jake has really emphasised a lot of that work in the NRL all the way down and we’ve had a lot of players train with first-grade this year in the pre-season. That’s really helped them come back to play in their own age group.

“We’ve been in this position before, so we're hopefully they can continue their form and go on a run to the Premiership.”

Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.