The stars of the future will hit the Browne Park field this Saturday and Sunday in the NG Engraving u/20s Challenge. Some great stars strated their careers in the u/20s competition including Norths Chargers junior Cameron Munster. Come along this weekend and check out all the action and you might just see the next Munster!! We’ve run the rule over the five teams competing…….
# Please note Emu Park Emus withdrew this week from the competition.
Coach: Rohan Crouch
Players to Watch: Brian Spence – a clever versatile player who took out the Player of the Carnival in last years Inaugural Nines competition, Brian Spence will be a player to watch for the Chargers
Mitchell Forrest - playing in the halves Mitchell Forrest got his fair share of A-grade games last year - he'll be better for the experience and a key player for the Chargers title defence.
The Preview: The Norths Chargers U/20s squad took out the competition under the guidance of legendary Norths Coach Charlie Beresford. Unbelievably they did the job short-handed with only nine players for the whole carnival - an incredible effort of stamina and determination.
Our Tip: The Chargers are expected to have a full compliment this time around for their Nines title defence and the club is very keen on goign back-to-back. Norths is a club that has so recently produced junior stars like Tim Glasby and Cam Munster. They are into this competition up to their eyeballs, but we think they might not get there. Time will tell.
Coach: Kurt Cumner
Players to Watch: Brodie Smith (half-back)
Tristan Flute - (2nd-row)
Zac Tull - (Front-row)
The Preview: Great to see the Fitzroy Sharks back in the u/20s competition after a year off last year being unable to field a side. The side will be relying on local Fitzroys and Gracemere juniors coming through the system and it will be a great test for the young side.
Our Tip: Really hard to get a gauge on the Sharks side and where they sit relative to their opposition this weekend. They are sure to be real surprise packets one way or the other but they’ll give it a great shake! Semi-final appearance is not out of the question.
Coach: Alby Boynton
Players to Watch: Jack Cooper - (Winger, Fullback)
The Preview: Biloela Panthers are heading in the right direction with the sound appointment of the experenced Captain-Coach Ryan Wilson to take the reins of the A-grade and he couldn't get a better man than local Alby Boynton to develop the clubs young stars of the future. It's always a tough proposition for the Bilo boys to travel and play in Rocky but they give it 100% every time.
Our Tip: This side could well win the comp! A lot depends on the strength of the A-grade side and which u/20s players that trialled in A-grade get pushed back. Semi-final appearance a definite chance if the depth is there in the club.
Coach: Damien Chapman
Players to Watch: Brothers A-Grade Coach Damien Seibold says "Joe Murphy is a big raw-boned kid who has come on really well in the pre-season. Jackson Reid and Jordan Moffat are only 18-year olds but I them highly"
The Preview: Rockhampton Brothers u/20s are traditionally a very strong side and expect this year to be no different. The depth of the playing list at Brothers will mean that a lot of their best u/20s will get pushed out of A-grade and will form a formidable line-up for Coach and Club stalwart Damien Chapman.
Our Tip: Another side well capable of winning the comp! Coach Chapman will be disappointed with anything less than a Grand-Final appearance from this team. Expect them to challenge strongly.
Coach: Kurt Sullivan and James Verzeletti
Players to Watch: Coach James Verzeletti says "Jason King, Charlie Mayne, Jesse Johnson and Lachlan Reid will be a handful for the opposition and are the ones to watch"
The Preview: Central Highlands will field an extremely strong side in the u/20s compeition and rightfully should be favourites to take it out. the question marks will be over how well they play away from home and backing up on the second day. However with players of the calibre of former Capras junior Charlie Mayne in the side they will form formidable opposition for the RRL sides.
Our Tip: If the boys can back up on the Sunday in decent condition they should take this competition out. Won't be without a fight from the RRL sides though!