Canowindra Pythons president Jack Beath hopes Saturday’s trials against Eastern Suburbs Rugby Union was the first of many to come.
The Pythons hosted three senior games, a junior game and former Wallaby Cameron Shepherd put on a number of skills drills during a bumper day for the revived club at Tom Clyburn Oval.
The Pythons’ 15-10 loss to Easts fifth grade didn’t put a dampener on the day whatsoever, as the clubs’ players, officials and fans engaged in post-match celebrations long into the night at the rugby clubhouse.
It marked the return of rugby to Canowindra following a forced decision to not enter the Central West competition in 2017, due to a lack of numbers.
President Jack Beath was pleased to see so much support from the community.
“The day went off without a hitch. It was a great day of rugby and a great night,” Beath said.
“It shows that we’re back this season, and we have the full support of the town which is great.
“Going off Saturday, I think we could turn it into an annual event.”
Easts brought its third grade, fourths and fifths for trials against Orange Emus, Molong Magpies and the Pythons respectively.
And Easts under 10s faced off against a combined Pythons and Cowra Eagles under 10s side in a curtain-raiser to the Pythons and Easts senior match.
Pythons life member and one of the chief organisers of the event, Adam Nash, identified Easts as a huge factor behind the Pythons’ return to the paddock in 2018.
“We had 23 players today compared to six last year. I think Easts deserve a big pat on the back for making our year possible,” Nash said.
Easts president John Murray said it was a “special day” for his club.
“I just want to thank everyone at the Canowindra Pythons for making us feel so welcome,” Murray said.
“It’s been fantastic for our teams to come out here from under 10s to some of the guys in their 30s playing fifth grade.
“Thanks to the guys from Easts for driving down here and making this day really special. It means a lot to Easts.”
Easts were able to clinch victory in each trial match on the day.
The Pythons will be back in action on Saturday, March 24 hosting Wellington before the season opener against West Wyalong at West Wyalong on April 14.
The Pythons host Temora at Canowindra on April 21.