Gold Coast Rugby League has dominated the Chairman’s Challenge to assert themselves as the clear leader of the South East Queensland division.
The Vikings were unbeaten across the weekend in both the Under 20s and open divisions of the tri-series against Brisbane and Ipswich.
The senior Vikings were particularly dominant, thumping Brisbane 36-6 on Saturday and backing up with an absolute thrashing of Ipswich, 64-6 on Sunday.
South East Queensland’s representative team will be named based on the weekend and it is hard to imagine it won’t be littered with Gold Coasters.
“The way the boys gelled was brilliant and they come together and had a great couple of games,” Vikings coach John Flint said.
“We had a good chat about it on Thursday; it’s about showing up for your mate. It’s not an individual game.
“It’s that old cliché but the boys took it seriously, they took a good direction and I couldn’t be happier.
“It just goes to show the players that were picked were the best 17 or 18 players on the Gold Coast and they can match it with anyone.
“Let’s hope a lot of them get picked for the next stage and they can go on and get some accolades for what they’ve just done. They all deserve to be there to be honest.”
Plenty of players stood out for the Vikings across the weekend. Back-rowers Kobi Mills, Mat Parata and Shaun Anderson were all terrific, five-eighth Keanu Te-Kiri was always scheming in attack while Waka Wanahi’s try-scoring prowess and ability to make tough metres was invaluable.
Ultimately every Vikings player made a claim for selection in the South East Queensland team and contributed heavily to a hugely successful weekend.
It was a return to prominence for the Vikings, who were champions in 2013 but didn’t win a game in 2014.
Meanwhile, the Under 20s continued a remarkable run of dominance that has now lasted six years.
On Saturday they won a 42-38 shoot-out against Brisbane before steam-rolling Ipswich 42-0 on Sunday.
Once again the entire squad contributed to victory and ample players put their hands up for selection at the next level.
Ethan Roberts had a massive influence steering the ship, Josh Ralph scored a double in both games while Joseph Tangeria and Starr Masae powered over the advantage line.
The Gold Coast players named in the South-East Queensland team will compete in the state carnival at Owen Park in June.
GC Vikings 64 (Waka Wanahi 2, Shaun Anderson 2, Sam Harold, Jamie Anderson, Mat Parata, Chris Thomas, Keanu Te Kiri, Jarrod MacDonald, Khan Ahwang tries Khan Ahwang 5, Matt Gorman 4, Waka Wanahi goals) def Ipswich 6 (Pipi Kilori try Steven West goal)
GC Vikings 36 (Jamie Anderson 3, Keanu Te Kiri, Khan Ahwang, Kobi Mills, Sam Harold tries Khan Ahwang 2, Matt Gorman 2 goals) def Brisbane 6 (Adam Crear try Adam Crear Goal)
GC Vikings 42 (Jake Nielsen 3, Joshua Ralph 2, Darcy Sims, Ethan Roberts, Reece Summer tries Sam Ross 2, Ethan Roberts 3 goals) def Ipswich 0
GC Vikings 42 (Joshua Ralph 2, Darcy Sims 2, Clay Nolan 2, Ross Afoa, Tyler Thomas tries Sam Ross 5 goals) def Brisbane 38 (J Stewart 2, D Vi, R Bennett, J Haim, J Adams, S Mawer tries S Mawer 3, J Adams 2 goals)
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