Redbacks' 16s claim fourth successive Junior State Cup title
IT WAS never going to be easy but Rockhampton's 16 Boys made it look simple.
The Redbacks "dropped their standard" according to coach Gary Benbow but still found the character, the will, and determination to claim its fourth Junior State Cup title in succession.
Rockhampton's players missed half of its regular season due to flooding caused by Tropical Cyclone Debbie earlier this year.
The disruptive preparation arguably brought the players closer together, but made victory even sweeter for Benbow's boys, who went through the Queensland Touch event undefeated.
"The tournament was tremendous, exceptional," Benbow said.
"What the boys got out was unbelievable, especially those younger players. They hadn't played in finals.
"Some of them had come for three or four years hadn't played or won a grand final. To win the final and get the shirt and a medallion, it's all for the effort they've put in for the last few months."
Rockhampton edged Redlands 7-6 in the final, with Redlands' Kapu Broughton-Whiteburn named Player of the Final.
The afternoon belonged to Rockhampton.
With titles in the 12 Girls and 18 Boys, as well as a grand final appearance by the 14 Boys (who fell 4-3 to Gold Coast A in drop-offs), Benbow said it was a reflection of the Central Queensland affiliate's strong touch football program.
"The other sides in grand finals, it speaks volumes for Rocky," he said. "For development, for our coaches, and it puts us in good stead for next year."
Benbow said he would return with the 16 Boys next year with his eye on a fifth consecutive Junior State Cup.
The 2018 event will be held from July 12-14.