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Defending title holders Queensland have gone back-to-back, taking out this year’s National Indigenous Under 18 Championship in Sydney on Monday.
The Championship, which saw Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander players from state, territory and affiliate representative teams come together to compete, was secured by the Queensland team with a 34-22 defeat of New South Wales in the Grand Final.
Held at the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence in Redfern, the tournament featured four teams; NSW, Queensland, ACT/Combined States and Northern Territory who competed in a round robin format across two days.
Queensland coach, Chris Ryan, said his side was tested by the New South Wales side who played exceptionally well.
“They surprised us in the first half and our boys regrouped quite well and really dug in for the victory,” Ryan said.
“The tournament is fantastic and really showcases some of the exceptional talent.
“We’ve got a couple of guys in our side who until this tournament were undiscovered talent and I’ve got no doubt they’ve got the ability to play Super Rugby.”
Queensland captain, Moses Sorevi, said their final match was a tough contest that challenged the side.
“We went through some good and bad patches,” Sorevi said.
“We didn’t give up; we just pushed ourselves to the limit and managed to score those tries at the end to get the win.”
Sorevi along with 11 of his team mates, was also named in the National Indigenous Under 18 squad, which will take part in the Australian Schools Rugby Championship later in the year.
Former Wallabies Lloyd McDermott, Gary and Glen Ella were on hand to present Ikaika Fa’aoso from St Peter’s Lutheran College with Player of the Tournament, and Joshua Robinson from Toowoomba Grammar School the Best Back Award.
Both have also been named in the National Indigenous Squad.
Executive Officer of the Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team, Tom Evans, said the two day Championship had delivered an exceptional standard of Rugby but it was not just about the game.
“It was another successful tournament with workshops across the two days which emphasise skills both on and off the field, reinforcing the No School No Play message integral to the Lloyd McDermott Program,” Mr Evans said.
“All students completed their Coaching Kids Rugby qualifications, and were spoken to about the dangers of illicit drug use.
“They also benefitted from a presentation from ARU’s High Performance Department on Strength and Conditioning, and the importance of good nutrition.
“Ultimately the Rugby objective is selection, but the off-field objective is to encourage these young men to stay in school and continue to become better individuals and community leaders.”
The National Under 18s Championship is a National residential tournament for Under 18 players for National, State or Territory representative teams.
The Championship is conducted annually by the Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team and Australian Rugby Union, and is another important element of the Player Pathway at National, Provincial, Regional and Affiliate level.
Selection for the National Indigenous squad has been based on performances at the weekend’s National Indigenous U18 Championship, Scots Sevens Tournament and other Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team tournaments in 2013.
The full National Indigenous Schoolboys squad for the Australian Schools Rugby Championship is:
James Widders Lee
2013 National Indigenous Under-18 Championships Standings and Results:
*NT places higher than ACT/Combined States as they won their match against ACT/Combined States
Qld 46 def ACT/Combined States 7
Qld tries - Shaun Laurie, Trae O’Neill, Carlin Anderson (2), Isaiah Huet, Daniel Jennings, Nick Duncan, Bailey Hayes
Qld con. - Trae O’Neill (3)
ACT/Combined States tries - Kieren Webber
ACT/Combined States con - Jerome Saffy
NSW 22 def NT 19
NSW tries - Jackson Parkes, Nathan McLeay, Benjamin Butler, David Green
NSW con - Ryan Gallop
NT tries - Stephen Quong, Diego Smith, Ian Manolis
NT con - Phillip Harris (2)
ACT/Combined States 10 def NSW 5
ACT/Combined States tries - Will Caller (2)
NSW tries - Benjamin Butler
Qld 43 def NT 0
Qld tries - Leonard Snowball (2), Paul Cobbo, Moses Sorevi, Trae O’Neill, Isaiah Huet, Kyle Kris
Qld con - Carlin Anderson (2), Nick Duncan (2)
NT 20 def ACT/Combined States 17
NT tries - Stephen Quong, Jabryah Hughson, Daniel Connop
NT con - Thomas Raymond
NT penalty - Lawrie Raymond
ACT/Combined States tries - Braeden Smith, Steven Tracey, George Houser
ACT/Combined States con - Bryce Lee
Qld 34 def NSW 22
Qld tries - Leonard Snowball, Shaun Laurie, George McCormick, Elliott Thompson, Daniel Jennings
Qld con. - Trae O’Neill (2)
NSW tries - Carlin Simon, Niko Fiapuleniko, David Green (2)
NSW con - Daniel Donovan
28 MARCH 2017