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Winning touch topples states

Emerald state touch representative Jacob Van Zanden with coach Gavin Ireland at the School Sport Australia Touch Championships in Coffs Harbour last week.
Emerald state touch representative Jacob Van Zanden with coach Gavin Ireland at the School Sport Australia Touch Championships in Coffs Harbour last week.

LOSING doesn't seem to be part of Queensland school touch representative Jacob Van Zanden's vocabulary.

The Emerald State School student played an integral role in the seven-game whitewash of under-12 teams at the School Sport Australia Touch Championships in Coffs Harbour last week.

After breezing past Northern Territory 9-4, Tasmania 18-0, and South Australia 22-0, the youngsters set their sights on dismantling New South Wales 8-1 and ACT 6-3.

As reigning champions of the competition, the junior stars had big shoes to fill. Not that it troubled Jacob all that much, who regularly represents the region at rugby league and rugby union state carnivals

"League is his passion but he really likes touch," mum Renee said.

The Queensland touch champions put their best forward again in the finals, with almost effortless wins over NSW 5-3 and NT 8-7.

Jacob asked if he could hang a permanent reminder of his first,

but no doubt not his last, national win in his bedroom.

"After the game he got all the boys to sign his shirt - he wants to get it framed and hang it in his room," Renee said.

The Year 8 student was named in the championship-winning Queensland side after a solid performance with the Capricornia team in Longreach earlier this year.

Jacob will move to St Brendan's College in Yeppoon next year to continue his schooling and representative commitments with the CQ NRL Bid junior scholarship program.


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