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By Patrick Foulkes
Round two of the BMW Junior Gold Cup has concluded with the sides from Queensland proving that there is plenty of talent coming through the northern state.
In both the U17s and U15s the JGC sides have had some good results with some close Queensland derbies highlighting the talent across the northern conference.
ARU National Pathways Competition Manager and Brisbane City Blue U15 Coach, Michael Grice was impressed with the standard of play coming out of the JGC after two rounds.
“In the U15s, most sides are really well drilled and well coached and we have the best of the kids in the age group which has been really good.
“The U17s is also close and having watched a few of the games, the quality has been really high.”
With the state teams getting chased by sides in Brisbane and Sydney, Grice was confident that there was going to be some good clashes in the coming rounds.
“The NSW sides in general have done really well. They have had record numbers turn up for trials and they have had a real buy in from the schools. They have picked some quality teams and it has been reflected in some of their results.
“Whereas in the past their strength has been diluted through the sheer number of teams, playing state teams. I think you’ll find them a little bit stronger this year and it wouldn’t surprise me if a NSW team ended up winning the Southern Conference.
“Western Australia is always strong and you can never count them out. They do it really tough because they play five games in eight days and they just put results back to back.
“All credit to the players and their coaching staff because they do a great job every year and they are a very tough outfit. I would never write them off.”
In the U15s patch Grice’s U15 Brisbane City Blue side will be looking to bounce back after a close loss to Ipswich.
“We were pretty strong in the first half and we got a little bit carried away with how well we were doing. We won 61-0 the week before and I warned the young guys that they hadn’t proved anything yet. I think we went in a bit over confident.
“Ipswich were a good side and they come out firing in the second half and deserved their victory.
“We have North Queensland on the weekend at Ballymore, the spiritual home of Queensland Rugby.
“They breed some tough cookies up in the north of Queensland so they will be hard to beat.
“I don’t think you can anyone for granted in the competition this year-which is a good thing.”
For all the latest results from round two of the BMW Junior Gold Cup click here.