Rocky teams triumph at Qld State Cup
TOUCH: Rockhampton has further enhanced its reputation as a touch powerhouse, winning two divisions at the inaugural Queensland State Cup.
Rockhampton took the honours in the open men and the under-20 men.
They also fielded a 40s men’s team that finished a creditable fourth and a 40s women’s team which, despite not winning a game, proved competitive.
The under-20s went through the round games undefeated, twice playing and beating Toowoomba, the Gold Coast and Redlands.
The Damien Kelso-coached outfit closed the competition with a resounding 5-1 win over the Gold Coast in the grand final.
Flynn Kelso was named Player of the Final.
The open men did not have things all their own way, losing their opening game to Redlands.
Coach Gary Benbow said they regrouped and went on to win their next six round games.
That set up a semi-final showdown with Townsville, who they had edged out 5-4 earlier in the competition.
It was another tight contest, with Rockhampton scoring in the last minute to force the game into a drop-off.
They scored from their first set of six to book a grand final berth against Redlands.
Rockhampton put on a skilful display to score a 7-5 victory, with Damon Moore named Player of the Final.
Benbow said it was a fantastic result.
“The boys were ecstatic. A lot of them said that was the best feeling they’ve ever had playing touch,” he said.
“I was just so proud of the lot of them.”
Benbow said the competition was fierce, with the cup doubling as a talent identification event for the NRL Touch Premiership and next year’s State of Origin.
He was confident a number of his players would have boosted their selection chances.
“Jaymon Bob was outstanding. He stood out like a beacon. He’s only 17 but he took the bull by the horns and made the tournament his own,” he said.
“Damon and Blake Moore were outstanding, as were Daniel Gill and Jack Leonard, who worked tirelessly in every game.
“I’ve had a lot of special moments over my career so far but that’s up there with the best of them.”