Round 1 of the Rockhampton and District Junior Rugby League International season kicks off this weekend.

The upcoming season brings some new opportunities and teams will be looking for a quick start to the year.

Under 13

Norths kick off the new season with a view to go one better than last year. Rocky Brothers Blue were beaten by Norths in extra time last year in the semi-finals and will be looking to start the year on a positive note. Brothers White and Gracemere meet at league headquarters and will be looking to gain momentum on the good performances of 2016. Saturday sees Rocky Tigers head to the beach to play Yeppoon and we are likely to see a very competitive game to start the year off.

Under 14

Brothers start the year against last year’s semi-finalist in Norths. Both sides had some very close games last year and with the experience of a year of international football under their belt, they will see them both improve the level of their football. Gracemere, last year’s runners up, will be again looking to take the cubs to the semi-finals, they have some good experience with representative players and will look for them to lead the way. Cap Coast Brothers will be looking to improve on last year while Yeppoon and Rocky Tigers will be looking to start the season strongly.

Under 15

Norths and Brothers had some of the closest games of the year in 2016 and both sides have plenty of representative experience returning for 2017. These sides will be looking at going through to the big day with last year’s premiers Emu Park unable to field a side. Yeppoon, who have been runners up the past two years, will start favourites in 2017. They have some big bodies up front and plenty of speed out wide. Rocky Tigers started last year slowly, so they will be looking for a strong start to 2017. Fitzroy’s will be the big improvers in 2017 they will be looking to a strong start in Round 1.

Under 16

This year will see the Under 16 season start with all teams at full strength, with the Cyril Connell competition being moved back to the State Carnival format. Fitzroy’s will be looking to repeat last year’s break through premiership season. They have plenty of Queensland Schoolboy representative players looking at playing themselves into Central Crows positions in June. Brothers White return better for the experience, as no one gave them a chance last year and they will be looking to improve on those performances. The coast sides Yeppoon and Cap Coast will want to get further through the semi-finals and make a charge at the season ending games.

Under 18

The Under 18 competition should be one of the strongest in a long time. sides will be affected by Mal Meninga players being unavailable up to Easter. Norths have recruited well and will be looking to again be premiership contenders. Cap Coast up set Brothers last year in the semi-final and the grand final and they have plenty of experience running around in the representative sides. If they can weather the early part of the season, they will be charging home at season’s end. Brothers will be looking to start the year fast and forget the last couple of performances of 2016; again full of representative experience they will be full of running from the outset. Yeppoon and Emu Park will be looking at early wins and place them up the ladder so they have a great chance at the back end of the season.

Round 1

Friday, February 17

Gymmy Grounds – North Rockhampton

4.30pm    Under 13     Norths          v       Brothers Blue
5.30 pm   Under 14     Norths          v       Brothers
6.30pm    Under 15     Norths          v       Brothers
7.30pm   Under 16     Norths          v       Brothers Blue
8.30pm    Under 18     Norths          v       Brothers

Browne Park - Rockhampton

5pm    Under 13     Brothers White         v       Cap Coast Brothers  
5.30pm    Under 14     Gracemere              v       Cap Coast Brothers
6.30pm    Under 15     Fitzroy’s                  v       Cap Coast Brothers
7.30pm    Under 16     Fitzroy’s                  v       Cap Coast Brothers

Saturday, February 18

Barrmaryee - Yeppoon

1.30pm    Under 13     Yeppoon        v       Rocky Tigers
2.30pm    Under 14     Yeppoon        v       Rocky Tigers
3.30pm    Under 15     Yeppoon        v       Rocky Tigers
4.30pm    Under 16     Yeppoon        v       Brothers White
5.30pm    Under 18     Yeppoon        v       Emu Park

Byes

Under 13     Emu Park
Under 14     Emu Park
Under 16     Emu Park
Under 18     Cap Coast Brothers