Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the Charles Sturt University rugby league club hopes to perform well enough to add another trophy to its collection.
CSU has a new committee that has, as its prime target, a premiership title in its second year in the Woodbridge Cup competition, to add to its impressive list of achievements.
A new set of coaches has been selected this year, Blake Armstrong to guide the men’s team and Joe Fixter and Ike Eggleton to conjunctively mentor the league tag side.
The club, in its former guise as Mitchell College, won its first premiership during its first foray in the Midwest premiership, a grand final win over Portland Colts in 1975, in a competition previously dominated by powerful combinations from Carcoar, Blackheath and Kandos.
Later, still Mitchell College, the university team won premierships in 1998 and 2009 in the Bill Buckley Memorial Trophy tertiary competition against all major NSW university teams.
(The Bill Buckley Memorial Trophy was named after the former chairman of the Australian Rugby League during the 1960s.)
Readmitted to the Midwest competition in 2012 with two sides under the auspices of the renamed Charles Sturt University, the CSU Blue team had immediate success, winning the title in its first attempt, a grand final defeat of the reigning premiers Lithgow Bears.
Teams from CSU then won premierships in 2014, 2019 and 2021
The women’s Mungals league tag side, after their first appearance in the initial Midwest league tag competition in 2014, added more rugby league premierships to the club in 2015, 2016, 2018, 2020 and 2021.
The 2023 Woodbridge Cup competition commences on Saturday, with CSU to meet old Midwest foes Oberon Tigers at Oberon in the first-up Rivalry round. These two clubs were the final premier teams in the last two seasons before the three remaining Midwest clubs’ admission to Woodbridge last year.
With no early form but with both sides competitive in 2022, the result of this first-round game will be a toss-up.
During their 2023 anniversary year, CSU will hold its Old Boys Day on the day of one of their home games, yet to be announced.