Right on cue! Rugby dads go down under to win big in national pool championships

National titles for Steve Denton and Andy Barnett
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Two Rugby dads who emigrated to New Zealand and Australia are making a name for themselves in the world of pool.

Steve Denton and Andy Barnett have walked away with $25,000 in winnings by beating stiff competition in national tournaments.

Steve emigrated from Rugby to Christchurch in 2008 with wife Julie, and sons Colm and Harry.

Steve (left) and Andy.Steve (left) and Andy.
Steve (left) and Andy.

He played pool in Rugby for 25 years and was a well known player at the old Avon Mill pub and the old Empire Club in Newbold Road.

Steve won the biggest national open tournament for the first time in 2016 in Manurewa.

The 2023 CNZ Nationals held last month had 300 entries - a record for NZ.

“I managed to take out the final for the second time against Simon Singleton, winning $3,000,” Steve said.

Steve Denton with his trophies.Steve Denton with his trophies.
Steve Denton with his trophies.

“NZ also play the more internationally recognised Reds and Yellow called International Rules. I won this title in 2015 in Christchurch, taking out the first prize of $10,000.”

This took place again in August and Steve walked away with the title for the second time to become 2023 NZ National Champ, winning $1,000.

He added: “In addition, I won the 2017 national doubles title, taking my tally to five national titles.”

Steve said he still returns to Rugby to visit family and friends.

Andy Barnett.Andy Barnett.
Andy Barnett.

"It’s also goot to catch up with my pool friends, who are also like family,” he added.

"Me and Andy have created many good memories in Rugby over the years and the town is well known locally and nationally for the quality of its pool players, and now world wide"

Friend Andy, 43, emigrated to Australia from Rugby with family wife Charlotte and daughters Madison and Macy.

Andy also played at the Avon Mill and Empire Club and went on to represent England while in the UK, playing in the World Championships in Blackpool.

Avon Mill's top pool players Andy Barnett, Ryan Whittle and Steve Denton featured in an old copy of the Rugby Advertiser.Avon Mill's top pool players Andy Barnett, Ryan Whittle and Steve Denton featured in an old copy of the Rugby Advertiser.
Avon Mill's top pool players Andy Barnett, Ryan Whittle and Steve Denton featured in an old copy of the Rugby Advertiser.

Australia only play the internationally recognised Reds and Yellows, staging a big national tournament every year.

Taking place this year in Albury, NSW, the event included team, singles doubles and more categories.

Andy won the Queensland State Champs in 2019 and 2020 and as a result became the captain of the state team for the nationals this year; a high honour in Australia.

This year Andy played in Australia’s first professional pool series where he made three finals and converted one of them to take his maiden professional title receiving a pay check of $10,000.

Last week he made it to the final of the Australian national singles in Albury, defeating Australian world champions on his way to the final.

After a gruelling match against Stone Stenhouse from Western Australia, Andy lost 10-9, narrowly missing out on the Rugby double down under.