Jack's team wins
GLADSTONE'S Jack Glossop and the Stanwell Junior Development U13s team embarked on an historic first playing tour leaving Friday for Brisbane.
Friday afternoon saw the team take on one of the most formidable school teams in the state, Keebra Park, Gold Coast.
Having never played together before a slow start was expected from the CQ NRL bid boys and lack of combinations led to early errors in their own half. Keebra Park State High School took full advantage of the early field position and posted three quick tries to race to an early 16-0 lead.
The Stanwell Junior Development U13s team hit back to stay in touch with an exciting backline movement finished well by Bundaberg flyer Rhys Lu.
Caleb Tull added the extras from the sideline. Despite dominating the middle period the CQ NRL bid boys clocked off early on fifth tackle and Keebra Park's crafty halfback created space to lay on a try for the right winger. This took the score to 20-6 in favour of Keebra Park State High School at the halfway point of the match. The back half of the game was really dominated by the Stanwell Junior Development U13s team and a 95 metre intercept try by Childers Coby Gibbs sparked a remarkable comeback. Rockhampton's Daley Doyle made a huge impact of the bench with his strong charges on the left side. The comeback was in full swing when Rockhampton's Jack White slipped a short ball to a charging Doyle who crashed over next to posts. A successful conversion to Tull took the score to 20-16.
Bundaberg five-eighth Jacob O'Shea capped a great ball playing performance when he bamboozled the Keebra Park defence slipping a short ball to Mackay's Kalyn Ponga who sprinted 40 metres to put the ball under the sticks. A Tull conversion saw the Stanwell Junior Development U13s team hit the lead for the first time with 6 minutes to play. A late try and conversion from Caleb Tull took his personal points tally to 16 for the day and the CQ NRL bid boys posted their first win 28-20. It was a remarkable effort for a team that only came together for one camp prior.
Coby Gibbs, Kalyn Ponga, Jacob O'Shea and Daley Doyle were standouts but what was most pleasing was the spirit the boys showed to pull together under adversity and play some great football. Unfortunately lightning storms caused the cancellation of the Stanwell Junior Development U13s team's Saturday game against Wavell State High School. The boys had great experiences with visits to the Titans Centre of Excellence and the Brisbane Broncos facilities. CQ product and current Broncos coach Anthony "hook" Griffin dropped in to meet and speak with the team much to the delight of players and staff.
The Stanwell Junior Development U13s team will now break and come together in two weeks time and travel to Townsville to play Ignatius Park College and Kirwan State High School.