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Cubs Tour sets benchmark for the future

Wests Tigers want its Cubs Program to be the best there is, on the back of a highly successful tour of New Zealand.

Seventeen of the club’s most promising pathways players travelled to New Zealand for a five-day Cultural and Development Tour, capped off by a resounding 34-18 victory over the Warriors Under 18’s before a big crowd at Mt Smart Stadium.

The emphatic win was the ‘cherry on top’ of a wonderful week for the club’s emerging stars. The tour was not just about playing football, but more about teaching these young men about the experiences that go hand in hand with being a professional athlete.

As Head of Pathways Matt Betsey pointed out before the trip, it was about helping these Wests Tigers young guns develop not just as footballers, but people.

Leading up the game on Sunday the team immersed itself in cultural awareness, visiting the thermal spas at Hells Gate, learning the ‘Haka’ and even enjoying a traditional ‘Hangi’ lunch. 


Wests Tigers Cubs learning the 'Haka' on Day 1 of their Cultural & Development Tour of New Zealand.

Posted by Wests Tigers on Thursday, June 30, 2022

Come game day, after a week of cultural activities and a Saturday night dinner with the NRL team, they were ready to fire. 

Many of them had never travelled outside of Australia before, and none of them had played before a crowd the size of that which was building at Mount Smart.

34-18 was the final score in favour of Wests Tigers Cubs over the Warriors 18’s, but in truth, it was far more one-sided than the scoreboard suggests. The young visitors built a 20-point lead in the first half with the home side scoring a couple of late consolation four-pointers.

This tour has laid the benchmark for more tours to follow. 

Betsey says it was extremely beneficial for the club in identifying and developing the next generation of players.

Our boys took on and defeated a big, physical emerging Warriors team. It was a true test of their character and their physical and technical ability. It’s a performance the players and the coaching staff should be very proud of."

Matt Betsey

Our team conceded an early try but weren’t rattled. They re-grouped and I think the week in camp helped them remain focussed and together.”

Going forward, we want our Cubs program to be the best rugby league program there is for young developing players."

Matt Betsey

We want it to be aspirational for our local juniors."

Opportunities like this will continue as a part of our Cubs program to ensure we develop better people and better players for future NRL success.”

Next up it will be a younger group of emerging Wests Tigers players on tour. The Under 16's Cubs will play a match against the North Coast in Tamworth as a curtain raiser to Wests Tigers vs Cronulla Sharks in Round 22.

The team will be in Tamworth on a four-day tour and will take part in several community activities, including school clinics, local club visits and connecting with local Indigenous players as part of their development on and off the field.

Acknowledgement of Country

Wests Tigers 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.

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