Grammar confident new faces will rise to the occasion
RUGBY UNION: Rockhampton Grammar School’s First XV are ready to defend their title at the Regional Rugby Championships this weekend.
The team won the inaugural competition last year, beating Toowoomba’s Downlands College 27-12 in the grand final.
The same six teams that competed last year – RGS, Downlands, Ignatius Park College (Townsville), Matthew Flinders College (Sunshine Coast), Marist College Emerald and St Brendan’s College (Yeppoon) – are back to battle it out at Rockhampton’s Rugby Park.
RGS have 15 new faces in their 25-man squad but captain Taine Wedel was confident they could get the job done again.
“It was a good feeling to win the first one,” he said.
“We’re hoping to continue on from last year and have some strong performances.
“The squad last year was much bigger but we’ve got a pretty mobile forward pack this year.
“Our preparation’s been good with gym twice a week and field sessions twice a week.
“We’ve also had three games and had three wins.
“The key this weekend is just to play as a team and keep that confidence up.”
RGS First XV coach Todd Wells said the championships were designed to give regional schools an opportunity to play more rugby at the First XV level.
They also allowed players to experience the challenges of carnival football.
Wells said the objective for his team was to play good rugby this weekend.
“We have a very new squad and all the players are looking forward to the opportunity,” he said.
“We’re a very mobile side. Hopefully we can execute our set piece and win enough ball.
“If we win enough ball I think we’ve got the mobility and the quality in our backline to be able to put points on teams.
“Win, lose or draw, our focus is on trying the play the best rugby we can and learn from our experiences.
“We’re guaranteed three good-quality games this weekend and our players will benefit in terms of creating better combinations, working better as a team and managing their recovery.
“That will put us in good stead for the Ballymore Cup in April and then moving into our league season and Confraternity later in the year.”
Wells said Wedel was in good form and would lead from the front at breakaway.
“Our front-rowers Zach Sypher and Rory Jones are going well,” Wells said.
“We have some very good players in our backline, including Jackson Cheeseman at fullback and our centres Carter White and Nic Matauiau, who are coming off playing for Queensland U15 last year.”
RGS play Ignatius Park at 2pm and St Brendan’s play Ignatius Park at 4pm on Saturday before the local blockbuster between RGS and St Brendan’s at 7pm.
The crossover finals will be played on Sunday, with the grand final at 11am.
2pm: Rockhampton Grammar v Ignatius Park, Marist College v Matthew Flinders
4pm: Ignatius Park v St Brendan’s, Downlands v Marist College
5pm: Girls 7s matches
6pm: Downlands v Matthew Flinders
7pm: Rockhampton Grammar v St Brendan’s
8.30am: 3rd Pool A v 3rd Pool B
9:45am: 2nd Pool A v 2nd Pool B, St Brendan’s U16 v Ignatius Park U16
11am: Grand final