Young duo shine for the Comets
IT'S lucky up-and-coming rugby league stars Cooper Bambling and Sheldon Bobbert have young legs.
Both Bambling and Bobbert have been crucial in the Stanwell Corporation Limited Central Comets under-16s’ surge towards a berth in this weekend’s Cyril Connell Cup grand final with Easts Tigers, however the pair have another obstacle to overcome prior to the match on Saturday morning.
Bambling and Bobbert, both 15 and students at St Brendan’s College Yeppoon, don the black and gold colours of Capricornia on Thursday for the beginning of the Queensland Schoolboys under-15 state carnival at Wynnum.
The boys will fight it out for a Queensland Schoolboys jersey in a handful of matches over the two days before linking up with the Comets on Friday evening in Brisbane for their final session at Red Hill, prior to the match.
Bambling, a talented halfback and fullback Bobbert’s combination for the Comets in 2011 has helped the side progress through to Saturday’s grand final on the back on six consecutive wins this season.
While Bambling’s skills with the ball in hand and his combination with captain Duncan Paia’aua in the halves has helped steer the Comets around the park this season, coach Stephen Parle said it was work in defence that was the most pleasing in their 20-18 semi-final win over Gold Coast Green on Saturday.
“As a halfback you’d probably think that Cooper’s attack would be his strongest asset, but he’s very good in defence,” Parle said.
“He was very strong. He’s only 15 and he put on a few really strong tackles late in the match, and I think he inspired the boys.”
Parle said the Comets would adopt the same preparation as the side did for last weekend’s semi-final win where they stayed at the Brisbane Broncos’ headquarters in Red Hill.
The Comets opened their season with a 22-10 win over Townsville Stingers before suffering their only loss of the season, against their grand final opponents Easts Tigers, in round two of the competition.
From then it was smooth sailing with the Comets recording victories over Wynnum Manly Seagulls, Redcliffe Dolphins, Norths Devils, Northern Pride, Mackay Cutters and then the semi-final win over Gold Coast Green.
The winner of the Cyril Connell Cup grand final will meet the winner of Saturday’s NSW Harold Matthews grand final between Illawarra Steelers and Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs.
The Cyril Connell Cup grand final against Easts Tigers kicks-off at 10.45am at Langlands Park, East Brisbane on Saturday morning prior to the Comets’ first ABC1-televised Queensland Intrust Super Cup clash of the season against the Tigers at 2pm.
Grand final team
COMETS: Sheldon Bobbert, Zac Mulholland, Adam Kelly, Riley Norris, Liam Doolan, Duncan Paia’aua (c), Cooper Bambling, Harry Pondekas, Jack Anderson, Liam Pickersgill, Jarrod Earle, Cody Poole, Bayden Brown, Mark Johnstone, Josh Ballard, Condor Tilney, Dan Collins, Dean Bates (one to be omitted). Coach: Stephen Parle.