Rockhampton junior rugby league kicks off tonight and along with the new season commencing, there is also a new club entering the competition.
The Woorabinda Warriors have nominated a side in both the Under 14 and Under 16 competitions after commencing their junior program, with players from the area previously having to travel to clubs in Rockhampton to play.
ROUND 1 PREVIEW
This is a brand-new year competition for these boys this year, playing under the International Rules. How they adjust to the new format will determine how they travel through the competition.
Cap Coast Brothers were last year’s Under 12 premiers and start their season at home, taking on Norths.
Last year’s runners-up Rockhampton Tigers will be looking to go one better this year when they host Yeppoon at Colts Oval, whilst Brothers Blue start at Victoria Park against Gracemere and Brothers White take on the Fitzroy Sharks at Browne Park.
Cap Coast Brothers will want to erase the memories of last year’s grand final where they qualified undefeated, only to come up short in the big dance. Hopefully the team can stay injury-free and can start the season on a high against Norths who fell one game short of the decider.
Rockhampton Tigers and Yeppoon will look to start the year off well when they meet at Colts, whilst Brothers Blue, who are last year’s premiers, will again look to get the season off to a good start against the new kids on the block, Woorabinda.
Norths were knocked out in the first week of last year’s semi-finals and will be looking to improve on that result this year when they start their season at Webb Park against Cap Coast.
Yeppoon were beaten in the second week of finals last year by eventual premiers Brothers and will want a good start to the season when they take on Rockhampton Tigers.
Victoria Park will host a grand final rematch with Brothers Blue taking on Gracemere. For the past three years, there has been little between these sides and we expect that to continue tonight.
Cap Coast Brothers will be looking to improve on last year when they take on runners-up Norths at Webb Park.
There have been a few player movements in this age group and that could see sides just outside the four get an opportunity this year.
Yeppoon would have been a little disappointed with their finish to last year when knocked out of the semi-finals by Norths and take on the ever-improving Tigers side.
Brothers, who finished fourth last year, have been strengthened with some new boarders attending school in Rockhampton. These additions might be the injection they need, though they take on the unknown Woorabinda outfit, who make their debut in the competition.
The start of the Under 18 season is always interesting with a number clubs affected by the Mal Meninga Capras players being unavailable for some games.
It’s Round 1 and all players will be available so that Under 18 Capras coach Tony Wilkinson can run his eyes over their development through the pre-season ahead of selecting a final squad for next week’s first trial match against Townsville.
The Under 16 players have moved up and last year’s 18-year olds have transitioned to seniors, so there will be a number of different combinations developing, which means one thing – outstanding rugby league.
Head out to your local club to support the next generation of rugby league players.
ROUND 1 DRAW
Friday, February 9 – Webb Park, Yeppoon
4.30pm Under 13 Cap Coast Brothers v Norths
5.30pm Under 14 Cap Coast Brothers v Norths
6.30pm Under 15 Cap Coast Brothers v Norths
7.30pm Under 16 Cap Coast Brothers v Norths
8.30pm Under 18 Cap Coast Brothers v Norths
Friday, February 9 – Colts Oval, Rockhampton
4.30pm Under 13 Rockhampton Tigers v Yeppoon
5.30pm Under 14 Rockhampton Tigers v Yeppoon
6.30pm Under 15 Rockhampton Tigers v Yeppoon
7.30pm Under 16 Fitzroy v Yeppoon
8.30pm Under 18 Brothers White v Yeppoon
Friday, February 9 – Victoria Park, Rockhampton
4.30pm Under 13 Brothers Blue v Gracemere
5.30pm Under 14 Brothers Blue v Woorabinda
6.30pm Under 15 Brothers Blue v Gracemere
7.30pm Under 16 Brothers Blue v Woorabinda
8.30pm Under 18 Brothers Blue v Norths 2
Friday, February 9 – Browne Park, Rockhampton
4.30pm Under 13 Brothers White v Fitzroy