Maroons v NSW Country Previews
THE rude shock of being awoken by a fire alarm before 6am this morning has done little to dampen the excitement of the Under 16 and Under 18 Maroon teams before tomorrow’s big matches.
The two teams will play against their NSW Country counterparts at Lismore’s Oakes Oval tomorrow afternoon and both coaches have reported spirits as high, with preparations going well.
The Under 16 Maroons team was selected from the recent Queensland Rugby League Junior State Carnival played at Pittsworth and coach Craig Grauf said his team have come together and bonded well.
“The camp has been wonderful – the facilities down here (at Royal Pines) are great … and the boys have been enjoying every minute of it,” he said.
“We train about two times a day, but we have some spare time as well.
“We have a fantastic mix of players … and we are really pleased with how they have progressed in camp.”
Grauf, who coached the Norths Devils Cyril Connell Cup team to the state title earlier this year, was also pleased with their work on the field.
“Mainly, our preparations have been making a lot of plans about our shape and our structure. With some of the boys, we have also worked on some technical stuff and skills,” he said.
“We will have a captain’s run tomorrow … but everyone is fit and healthy and excited to be wearing the Maroon jersey.
“It is quite cold, but hopefully it will be quite dry in Lismore. It’s probably going to be 10 degrees cooler – so some of the North Queensland boys might find it tough; but we should be fine.
“We have no excuses and they are ready to go 100 miles an hour tomorrow.”
Coach of the Under 18 Maroons side Steve Sheppard said his side were excited by the opportunity to be playing in the representative match.
“It’s been going good so far … it feels like they must have all known each other beforehand, and hopefully that will translate onto the field,” he said.
“We have been doing a lot of team-orientated stuff (because as coaching staff) it is our job to make sure they gel together.
“We have told them it is not enough just to get picked for Queensland; they have to represent their state proudly.
“Our captain is Mitch Wilson from Redcliffe. He led Redcliffe to the Mal Meninga Cup so it was only fitting. He has good leadership skills on the field as well so it was an easy choice.”
Friday, July 5 @ Oakes Oval, Lismore
4.30pm - U16 Maroons v NSW Country
6.00pm - U18 Maroons v NSW Country
7.30pm - XXXX Queensland Rangers v Ron Massey Cup rep
Under 18 Maroons team
1. Josh Beehag (Redcliffe)
2. Conor Carey (Charters Towers / Townsville Stingers)
3. Jarryd Dodd (Norths)
4. Jake Hargreaves (Eastern Suburbs)
5. Kurt Perry (Burdekin / Townsville Stingers)
6. Kyle Laybutt (Eastern Suburbs - Bundaberg / Central United)
7. Mitch Wilson (Redcliffe) (c)
8. Tim Wolens (Currumbin Eagles / Gold Coast White)
9. Chris Law (James Cook University / Townsville Stingers)
10. Jack Brock (Burdekin / Townsville Stingers)
11. Josh Berkers (Burleigh/ Gold Coast White)
12. Joel Mayne (Redcliffe)
13. Tyson Cleal (Redcliffe)
14. David Leapai (Kangaroos / Northern Pride)
15. Brayden Torpy (Eastern Suburbs)
16. Nathan Watts (Redcliffe)
17. Charlie Galo (Ipswich / Goodna)
Coach: Steve Sheppard
Under 18 NSW Country
1. Jayden Connors (Tingha)
2. Matthew Heckenberg (Belconnen)
3. Keiran Roughly (Milton Ulladulla)
4. Cameron Burns (Lakes United)
5. Zac Leonard (North Tamworth)
6. Eli Levido (Cessnock)
7. Adam Lucas (Bega)
8. Tom Field (Dubbo Cyms)
9. Jarrod Smith (Maitland)
10. Jordan Stratton (Cessnock)
11. Tyron Gorman Gundagai)
12. Billy Sing (Dubbo Cyms)
13. Riley Thomas (Cessnock)
14. Joe Gardner (Macleay Valley)
15. Sam Apthorpe (Cessnock)
16. Lachlan Carey (Cobargo)
17. Craig Field (Dubbo Cyms)
Under 16 Maroons team
1. Bernard Lewis (Marlins)
2. Dale Madden (Wide Bay)
3. Keenan Yorston (SEQ)
4. Te Rangiatea McDonald (SEQ)
5. Wesley Mooka (Northern)
6. Joshua Faiud (SEQ) (c)
7. Hayden Herbert (Wide Bay)
8. Justin Timu (SEQ)
9. Tristan Hope (South West) (vc)
10. Kyle Spry (Wide Bay)
11. Daniel Kirk (Wide Bay)
12. Hiale Roycroft (SEQ)
13. Jake Christison (Wide Bay)
14. Mosese Uluiviti (Northern)
15. Tom Boland (South West)
16. Aaron Ulai (SEQ Chairmans)
17. Cameron Torpy (SEQ)
Coach: Craig Grauf
Under 16 NSW Country
1. Jed Kennedy (Orange Bloomfield)
2. Sharne Ngu (Yenda)
3. Hamish Wolfgang (Denman)
4. Jack Murchie Milton Ulladulla)
5. Rueben Carrick (Gerringong)
6. Jayden Ehsman (Glen Innes)
7. Derek Hay (Gundagai)
8. Zac Faulkner (Farrer)
9. Nathan Bartley (Berry)
10. Jake Hall (St Johns Dubbo)
11. Phillip Cambridge (South Dubbo)
12. Hayden Cowled (Cootamundra)
13. Liam Martin (Temora)
14. Brad Johnston Farrer)
15. Will Sheely (Bathurst St Pats)
16. Brayden Gallagher (Glen Innes)
17. Ryan Griffin (Orange Cyms)