UNDER-12 Central Highlands rugby union juniors have shown they’re up to the task of defeating their highly fancied Central Queensland counterparts, snaring a convincing 25-12 win in Rockhampton late last month.
After holding out the rampaging CQ outfit to a five-point lead by half time, the Highlands boys – and girl – bettered their lead to more than double by the final whistle.
Comet schoolgirl Kealy Jeppesen made a solid impression off the bench for CH as the only female representative from the region.
CH coach Kristan Paul said the flying winger had no qualms in bringing her defensive abilities to the fore.
“She tackled better than some of the boys out there,” Paul said.
“She went really well.”
Highlands’ man of the match Gabe Kopana from Moranbah was in outstanding form, dishing out three tries, playing out of his favoured front-row position, instead locking up the scrum at No.8.
Central Highlands under-13 went down 24-0 to Central Queensland.
CH coach Dave Glover said the young rah-rahs found it difficult to get off the mark but eventually found form late in the second half to finish on a positive note.
“Their lead-in was a bit lethargic and we couldn’t get into the swing of things in the first half,” Dave said.
“We trained well but just didn’t get into the mode.
“The forward momentum wasn’t there and that put pressure on our backline.
“By the end of the last half they came together and showed their own.”
Glover said Morgan Laffer was particularly impressive playing out of position at inside-centre. His move from fly-half, Glover said, seemed to have paid dividends.
“He’s solid at carting the ball up and the centres can give him a bit more time.”
Also shining for CH were Mace Hartley and Jason King.
The Central Highlands under-14 were out-muscled physically and on the scoreboard, 40-7, in their match-up with CQ.
“They (CQ) were a big pack,” Glover said. “Nearly the whole team looked like they were tight-head props.”
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