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After an encouraging round 1 performance at home, the Ipswich Under 16 team will go in search of their first victory of the Cyril Connell Cup season this Saturday.
Ipswich is drawn to play Redcliffe at the North Ipswich Reserve and coach Todd Riggs believes his team is in good shape to challenge for the two points against the Dolphins.
Redcliffe is coming off a 20-10 loss against the Souths Logan Magpies, while Ipswich went down by the same scoreline against the Norths Devils.
“It was a real improvement on our trial form,” Riggs said of the tight loss against the Devils.
“The players competed for the whole game.”
Norths took a 4-0 lead into the half-time break, but the visiting team were able to kick clear in the second half.
“We had a sloppy five minutes there at one point and that was the difference in the end,” Riggs said.
Co-captains Andrew Richardson (hooker) and Jackson Weir (second-row) led from the front for Ipswich, repaying the faith of Riggs who identified their talent and commitment early in the pre-season.
The Ipswich squad launched its Connell Cup assault last November with an open trial day. Starting out with a squad of 40, the group has gradually been trimmed back to 25.
Although he’s yet to celebrate a win, Riggs is enjoying his coaching tenure.
“It’s an experience I had to have,” the St Peter Claver teacher said.
“I had been at the Jets for a long time, so it’s good to experience a different network. It has been great for my development as a coach.”
In last weekend’s other Pool A Connell Cup matches, Gold Coast White defeated Wynnum Manly 46-16 and the Easts Tigers beat Gold Coast Green 26-20.
In Pool B, the Northern Pride beat the Sunshine Coast 22-0, Mackay Cutters pipped Central Crows 22-18 and the CQ Capras outplayed Toowoomba Clydesdales 40-4.
The most comprehensive performance in the Mal Meninga Cup came from the Norths Devils, who thrashed Ipswich 72-4.
Michael Molo finished with five tries for the Devils, while Adrian Henley and Sonny Munroe crossed twice.
Other Pool A winners in the Under 18 competition were Gold Coast White, Gold Coast Green and the Redcliffe Dolphins.
In Pool B, Cory Parker scored a hat-trick in the Sunshine Coast’s 26-20 win over the Northern Pride, Mackay Cutters beat the Central Crows 20-14 and the CQ Capras ran out 36-22 winners over the Toowoomba Clydesdales.