Australia and New Zealand touch teams unite after the Trans Tasman series was held in Tweed Heads, which was taken out by the Kiwis in the 40-years division.
Australia and New Zealand touch teams unite after the Trans Tasman series was held in Tweed Heads, which was taken out by the Kiwis in the 40-years division. Submitted

Touch stars shine

FOUR Gladstone players donned the green and gold for traditional Trans-Tasman rivalries in the Australia v New Zealand annual international touch football carnival last Friday and Saturday in Tweed Heads.

Jimmy Radloff played in the triumphant men’s 27-year-olds’ side, while Fred Roeser, Linden Finlay and Laurie Anno (player-coach) all represented their country in the 40-years division.

The men’s 40-year-olds suffered a narrow series loss (4-2, 4-2, 8-6) against a New Zealand side comprised mainly of players in their late 20s and early 30s.

“They were even in the first half every game, the New Zealand boys’ young legs had a little more in them come second half over the older guys,” team manager Julie Anno said.

Due to the recent earthquakes in New Zealand only 10 sides were able to make the journey, and several teams were comprised of a combination of players from disparate age groups.

Each division contested a best-of-three series, while the Oceania Barbarians and Junior Indigenous side replaced New Zealand where they couldn’t field a side.

“It was a good event, because of the circumstances many teams just took at as a training run and tried to just enjoy the carnival win lose or draw,” 40s coach Laurie Anno said.

Ultimately the 11th edition of the carnival ended in a draw at five series victories apiece.

With growing interest from Europe and Asia there is the potential for the international touch calendar to include a World Cup in 2012.



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