Maitland Blacks juniors draw on tradition in grand finals

Maitland Blacks 1999 premiership teammates Dan Gollan and Troy Skinner are hoping to guide the next generation of Blacks to title success on Saturday.

Gollan’s under-10s and Skinner’s under-16s both finished minor premiers this year and will be looking to complete the double at Ernie Calland Field, Gateshead, on Saturday.

Gollan and Skinner have both played more than 200 games for Maitland, have won multiple premierships and are both members of the Maitland Rugby Club Hall of Fame and admit to a few nerves for their young charges.

Skinner’s under-16s are playing in their third grand final in four years. They shared last year’s under-15 title after playing out a 10-all draw with Wanderers, were knocked out in the under-14 preliminary final and won the under-13 title in 2015 beating Singleton.

They progressed to this year’s the grand final the hard way after losing the qualifying final to grand final opponents Merewether Carlton. They bounced back last week to book their spot in the season decider with a 22-14 win against Wanderers.

Kick off on Saturday is at 1.45pm

Gollan’s under-10s are experiencing their first finals series after progressing together from the Little Blacks Army under-7s.

They won their spot in the grand final beating clubmates Maitland Black White 53-22 in the preliminary final.

They face Singleton, who upset them 17-15 in a high-quality qualifying final, in the grand final. Kick off is at 8am.