It has been a busy week in camp for the players selected in this year’s Queensland Under 16 Murri side; and it will all culminate this afternoon when they take to the field against the NSW Under 16 Koori team.
Being played as one of the curtain-raiser matches to this year’s NRL All Stars v NRL Indigenous All Stars match – the boys are excited to be representing their state and their communities on a big stage.
Coach Sid Domic took time out to answer a few questions about the team’s preparations before today’s big game:
How has camp been so far and how have the boys adjusted to the busy week?
Players have thoroughly enjoyed the All Stars experience; they have come together as a team and as friends, whilst being given the opportunity to mingle with their heroes of the NRL who have inspired them to achieve their individual goals as rugby league players.
All the boys are looking forward to the experience of playing in front of a big crowd and taking on the NSW Kooris.
As well as training hard; there have also been a number of great opportunities provided to the players. Tell us about some of the highlights of the camp.
Most definitely the highlight of the tour was on Thursday when the team was invited to lunch with the Indigenous All Star players. All players were seated with member of the All Stars side and were able to spend the time speaking with the heroes.
Of course there were many photos taken to take home to show off to friends and family. All Under 16 players from the Murri and Koori sides were presented with their jerseys from the Indigenous All Stars player from their corresponding position.
What sort of game are you expecting against New South Wales?
Although we are entering the game more or less blind to the ability of the NSW side both on an individual and team basis, from games over the past five years; we expect the Kooris to play a fast-paced game with plenty of ball movement.
Our focus will be on our game and our goal is to play to our full potential.
The Under 16 game is part of full day of football, with league supporters from all over coming to watch. How much of a thrill is it for the players to perform in front of crowd like this?
It is with a great sense of pride that the Murri Under 16 players will take the field this afternoon, they have the opportunity to play not only in an Queensland jersey; but they will be representing the Indigenous community, their communities, their families and it is very rare that and opportunity like this comes along.
Playing at a venue like the Cbus Super Stadium in front of a crowd like the one they will run on in front of on Friday will create nerves; but with all that has been going on through the week; I don’t feel the players have had the chance to be nervous.
I think nerves is something we may have to deal with on game day.
In great news – this game will be livestreamed on NRL.com – meaning friends and family members who can’t be there will also be able to watch. What does that mean to the boys?
The opportunity for the families to be able to watch the game livestream on NRL.com was exciting news for all our players who were unable to have family at the game.
Boys are selected from all over Queensland and the Torres Strait, so it is very tough for some families to be here to support their children.
The livestream gives families an amazing opportunity to share this special moment with the boys.