Stafford Park at Hervey Bay was my destination for this week to witness a few of the junior games on the Fraser Coast and yet again I and the players were met with very humid conditions.
Due to these conditions drinks breaks were made compulsory for these matches and it was great to see some quick thinking and the welfare of those involved being taken into consideration so quickly.
The first game I witnessed was the Under 13 Hervey Bay Seagulls Green side take on the Maryborough Wallaroos and a close fought first half saw Hervey Bay leading 22-10 courtesy of a double to Alex Preval.
The second half was all Hervey Bay as their prop forward Harry Nusky hit his rampaging best to crash over for two early tries and put the game beyond doubt.
The Seagulls best in their eventual 52-10 victory was their elusive fullback Domenic Woodbridge who had onlookers on their feet every time he touched the ball, centre Alex Preval with a hat trick and 20 points for the match, Harry Nusky with his early second half double along with backrower Josh Smith Rassmussen who also crossed for two tries.
Although he didn’t get a lot of game time a tall young rangy back rower in Jaxon Miller impressed when he got on the field for the Seagulls as well. For Maryborough Sabai Bigie was a standout with two tries and many blockbusting runs and crucial tackles, Jackson Bollinger from the back tried his heart out and Darcy and Tristan Knight played well in a beaten side.
** Hervey Bay 52 (Preval 3, Nusky 2, Smith Rasmussen 2, Woodbridge, Green, Cunningham, Miller tries; Preval 4 goals) def Maryborough Roos 10 (Bigie 2 tries; Anderson goal)
Second game up on the main field was the Under 14’s match between Hervey Bay Seagulls and the Wallaroos and the Hervey Bay side were on the receiving end of a very dominant first half by the Wallaroos where they raced out to a 32 nil lead.
The Maryborough side’s forwards put on a brutal display in the opening half led by back rower Jesse James and Kodi McConnell and rampaging number 10 in Simon Ansela was a handful every time he touched the ball.
After half-time, Wallaroos lost their discipline and Hervey Bay stormed back into contention to be within striking range before Simon Ansela sealed their fate with a late try to the Wallaroos. Best on the day for the Wallaroos were James, McConnell and Ansela and winger Jonah Bigie contributed with a double including one incisive run that led to a superb solo try to open the scoring.
The Seagulls tried but were no match in the end for the Roos forward pack but their fullback Ben Hudson who scored a hat-trick was a constant threat and there was plenty of potential in their halfback Sam Thompson whose passing and kicking game were reminiscent of Jarrod Mullen.
** Wallaroos 38 (J.Bigie 2, Ansela 2, James 2, Hooper tries, Fernie 5 goals) defeated Seagulls 18 (Hudson 3 tries Thompson 3 goals)
The final game I witnessed was the Under 16 clash between the Seagulls and Wallaroos and there were some very noteworthy performances from both sides in this clash.
In the first half the lead changed five times as the Seagulls led 18-16 at the break before the numbers told as an 11 man Wallaroos outfit couldn’t cope with some sharp stepping in the second stanza to stay in contention as the Seagulls ran out eventual 42-22 winners.
For the Wallaroos, fullback Joey Alberts and five-eighth Tyrone Tanna kept them in touch with some outstanding runs and defence to match as they were both constant threats every time they touched the ball. The Seagulls put in a complete team effort but Jayden Akers had some barnstorming runs and big hits in defence, Rasharn Bentley was busy but to me the standout player of the day was the 13 Samuel McKey who never stopped.
** Seagulls 42 (Hackett 2, Russell 2, Nuske 2, Forbes, Jordan tries Jordan 5 goals) defeated Wallaroos 22 (Tanna 2, Barry, Brown tries, Brown 3 goals)
The hospitality shown to myself by those at the Seagulls home ground was much appreciated and for any local businesses wanting to help out, some more shade sails for the match days would be much appreciated.
Happy Easter to all rugby league followers and please be safe on the roads if travelling.