Central West defeats Illawarra in Caldwell Cup final at Tamworth

It took just three minutes for Central West to show its intent in Sunday's Caldwell Cup final.

After a strong scrum and forward running got the Blue Bulls in position, a simple shift to the left resulted in a try to hard-running centre Filisione Pauta.

After that, the Dean Oxley-coached side didn't look back on it way to winning the NSW Country Rugby Union's ultimate prize.

The entire forward pack was immense in the win at Tamworth's Scully Park, setting the platform and allowing mercurial flyhalf Mahe Fangupo to pull the strings and lead the way in the scintillating 45-21 victory over Illawarra.

"A lot of the boys have been trying to win this for many years so there was a lot of joy there," Central West captain Mark Baldwin said after the win.

"I can't speak highly enough of this group. I've been a part of a lot of teams and it's so enjoyable to be part of one like this."

The victory capped off a massive weekend for Central West Rugby Union after the Blue Bulls' women's side had earlier won its championship final in equally dominant fashion.

The win in the men's decider was a hugely satisfying result for Central West after an injury-ravaged side was beaten by Illawarra in last year's Caldwell Cup decider.

This year's title win was never really in doubt during the weekend at Tamworth, as a comfortable 32-17 win over Mid North Coast on Saturday was followed by Sunday's blistering showing.

The Blue Bulls led 31-0 at halftime in the final, a double to Geurie Goats star Pauta the early highlight.

His second was a thing of beauty as he ripped through the Illawarra defence on halfway after a lovely inside ball from Fangupo, before finding Dubbo Kangaroo's Shaun McHugh out wide.

McHugh brilliantly threw a one-handed pass back inside to Pauta despite being surrounded by defence, leading to the easiest of finishes.

"It was just absolutely clinical in that first half," Baldwin said.

"There was not too many errors and we held the ball. It was an excellent half of footy.

"There was not much you could fault and it was a lot of fun to be a part of."

The second showing was nowhere near as crisp, the Blue Bulls bombed a number of try-scoring chances, but the damage had already been done.

Illawarra scored the first try of the second stanza to briefly hint at a comeback but that was as close as the defending premiers got as Central West continued to control proceedings despite Oxley ringing the changes.

McHugh, who barked orders the entire game and continually popped up all over the field, grabbed a deserved try while Bathurst Bulldogs' Peter Fitzsimmons grabbed his side's only other try in the second half.

Outside of Fangupo and McHugh, Pauta was a threat every time he ran the ball, captain Mark Baldwin and veteran Dave Jessiman didn't stop working, and the service provided by scrumhalf and player of the tournament Shahid Khalfan was exemplary all game.