The bold get old, footy stays beautiful

League stalwart: Penrith's Brad Drew took park in the Rugby League Masters tournament at St Marys Stadium. More pictures online. Picture: Geoff Jones

League stalwart: Penrith's Brad Drew took park in the Rugby League Masters tournament at St Marys Stadium. More pictures online. Picture: Geoff Jones

THE ageing bodies will no doubt still be hurting, but former St Marys and Penrith players were happy to wind back the clock on Saturday for the annual NRL Masters Day at St Marys Stadium.

The highlight of the round-robin format was the inclusion of an ex-Penrith players' side.

Organisers did their best to find players from every era at Penrith.

They even went back to the club's first year in the NSW Rugby League premiership in 1967.

Neil Bailey was part of the Penrith squad in their first season, and he dusted off the boots to take part.

St Marys player Joe Borg said it was a great sight.

"He went really well and I was surprised," Borg said.

"He'd be in his 60s and he hasn't lost it. I would have liked to see him play back in his heyday when he was in his prime because all the skills were still there but he'd obviously lost his pace.

"We played two games each and it was a great experience to play against the Penrith side, who said they were keen to play in the tournament again."

The format, which is played with several rule changes to accommodate players over 35, featured teams from all over the Penrith Junior Rugby League district including Doonside, Waratahs and St Dom's.

Teams from as far as Gundagai made the trip to St Marys.

The non-competitive format was a real hit, said Borg.

He admitted to having a "very quiet" Monday.

"It was all for fun and the day was played in great spirits," Borg said.

"We were all tired after the second game, but we all got together and had a beer.

"It was a great day."

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