Time is a friend and not a foe for Townsville
The timing is right for the Townsville Stingers Cyril Connell Cup side as the week off has given them time to prepare ahead of their semi-final this weekend.
Coach Allan Petersen said the whole squad had improved since the start of the year.
The quality of footy they were playing was great in a good sign for the team leading up to their match against the Souths Logan Magpies.
“We are pulling together as a whole team, there is such great talent in this squad,” Petersen said.
“We are defending well, starting to complete our sets and we are more patient with the footy now than what we were (at the start of the season).”
With two teams representing the region in both the both the Under 16 and Under 18 semi-finals; the atmosphere around Townsville is nothing less than buzzing.
“It is exciting to have two teams in the finals. It’s great for rugby league and great for North Queensland,” Petersen said.
The semi-final thriller between the undefeated Stingers and Souths Logan will be on Anzac Day, (Saturday, April 25) at Neil Stewart Park at 1.30pm.
The Stingers are coming off a close 22-16 win in the final round against the Sunshine Coast Falcons and will be hoping to continue their unbeaten run.
Stingers winger Thomas McCagh is the leading point scorer in the competition this season with a total of 72 points and five tries.
McCagh kicked three goals in the final round to help lead the team to their victory, and he will be hoping to do the same in the semi-final.
The second semi-final will see the undefeated Gold Coast White come up against Pool B’s second-placed team in the Sunshine Coast also on Saturday at 1.30pm – but at Pizzey Park.
The Gold Coast side have not been bettered this season and go into this semi-final with 38-24 final round victory against the Redcliffe Dolphins under their belts.
White’s Ben Thomas is the equal second leading try scorer for the season with eight tries to his name, and will no doubt be wanting to add a few more to the board this weekend.
The Falcon’s last round match was their toughest – but the defeat at the hands of the Stingers will have them keen to bounce back in this sudden-death game against White.
Falcons’ hooker Tyson Smoothy booted two goals and scored a try in the Round 7 loss, giving him a tally of 18 goals for the season and a total of 40 points.
With these semi-final games being played across the state in both the Under 16 and Under 18 grades, this weekend is a great opportunity for rugby league fans to see Queensland’s junior stars in action.
The preview of the Mal Meninga Cup semi-finals can be found in this weekend's edition of Rugby League News - available at all home venues.