The South East Queensland Region’s pre-season Under 16s development series got under way this weekend with Round 1 hosted at Mudgeeraba on the Gold Coast.
Region Chair Brad Tallon was on hand to witness the season opening exchanges.
“This challenge series format was devised for the SEQ League teams in place of the QRL’s Cyril Connell Cup a few years ago and I am excited by the growth in interest we have seen over that short time,” he said.
Three games were played across the afternoon, with Brisbane Blue, Gold Coast White and Gold Coast Yellow all picking up wins.
GAME 1: BRISBANE BLUE V IPSWICH 2PM
Brisbane’s Blue outfit looked strong on paper and they did not disappoint crossing for an early try to take a 4-0 advantage over Ipswich early in game one.
The junior Jets’ attack misfired in the first half as Blue pushed the lead out to 16, however Ipswich were able to cross right before halftime to cut the margin to 10 at the break.
Both teams struggled to build pressure in a scrappy second term. Brisbane managed to add only one more try, with a solid defensive effort from Ipswich.
Brisbane Blue 22 (tries: Ezra Mam, Chambers Horua-Chase, Gavin Sims, Mustafa Kaya; goals: Ezra Mam 2, Mustafa Kaya) def Ipswich 6 (tries: Kulikefu Finefeuiaki; goals: Zachery Alley).
GAME 2: BRISBANE GREEN V GOLD COAST WHITE 3:00PM
Gold Coast White worked hard in the early exchanges and were rewarded with an 8-0 lead after 15 minutes.
A mistake from a bomb gifted Brisbane Green a try to close the gap, but Brisbane conceded another try on the stroke of halftime for the Coast to lead 14-4 at the break.
GC White kept the points coming, extending their lead to 20-4 shortly after the break and they continued to build the lead out to 28-4 as the half continued.
Brisbane stayed the course and crossed for their second try late in the half, but GC White put the game to bed with a try on the fulltime siren.
Fullback Kruz Rimene was the stand-out, running in a hat-trick during the seven try romp.
Gold Coast White 32 (tries: Kruz Rimene 3, Ezra Ubaldino, Syris Schmidt, John-Thomas Manuofetoa, Jardyn Watene; goals: Syris Schmidt, Jordan Stewart-Lewis) def Brisbane Green 10 (tries: Isaiah Iongi, Alize Tanielu; goals: Kaylan Hemana).
GAME 3: BRISBANE RED V GOLD COAST YELLOW 4:00PM
Game 3 between Brisbane Red and Gold Coast was a see-sawing affair that saw Red take the early 6-0 lead.
Yellow went over for back-to-back tries to take the lead, before Brisbane retook the lead just before the break.
A soft try from dummy half put the Coast in front again after 10 minutes of the second term, before Gold Coast hooker Caleb Gould-Waiariki snuck over again to extend the lead for the Coast.
From there, the Gold Coast went on with the job and on the fulltime hooter Gould-Waiariki capped a great game crossing for his third try to seal a 32-10 win over Brisbane Red.
Gold Coast Yellow 32 (tries: Caleb Gould-Waiariki 3, Tuvalli-Afoa Khan-Pereira, Kaleb White, Brody Smitka; Goals: Connor Te Kani 3, Caleb Gould-Waiariki) def Brisbane Red 10 (tries: Jodeci Tiraha, Kauri Maera; goals: Aiden Severns).
Round 2 at Rosewood RLFC, Saturday March 16
Brisbane Red vs Gold Coast White, 2pm
Brisbane Blue vs Gold Coast Yellow, 3pm
Brisbane Green vs Ipswich, 4pm