Super start for QT Schools Cup launch
AFTER a delayed start, the QT Schools Cup is ready to showcase the next generation of rugby league talent.
Three of Ipswich's premier rugby league schools will go head-to-head in a series of trial games to prepare for the upcoming Broncos Cup competitions.
Torrential rain turned the field at Redbank Plains Recreational Reserve into a swimming pool last week, causing the first round between St Peter Claver College and Redbank Plains State High School to be called off.
The delay has set the stage for a huge doubleheader to kick off the competition this afternoon with Ipswich State High School, St Peter Claver and Redbank all to play on the same program.
Thanks to a wealth of young players in grade 11 and 12, Redbank will field two senior Open teams and a U15's.
Redbank will take on St Peter Claver in opens and ISHS in 15's at 4pm and then field their second open side against ISHS at 5pm.
Redbank coach Michael Armstrong said it showed the number of students who are eager to compete.
"We have about 45 students in senior grade," Armstrong said.
"I think they have all said they want to play.
"It's a great opportunity to get some game time before we get into our (Broncos Cup) games."
Ipswich State High School will enter their second year in the tier one Super 6 competition while Redbank and St Peter Claver will compete in the second tier Gee Shield.
Armstrong said ISHS were a benchmark to test his players against ahead of the Gee Shield.
"It's a good chance to play up a grade and try to match that standard of play," he said.
"We obviously would love to be there one day, so we will use them as a benchmark."
Ipswich State High School rugby league head coach Lee Addison said a 38-10 trial game win against Gee Shield opponents Marsden had put his players in good spirits.
"I think that was the best we've played in our first trial since I've been here," Addison said.
"We looked fit, organised and that we cared about getting the result," he said.
"Normally you can be a bit rusty in the first trial but we clicked quite quickly.
"There's still loads of work to do, but hopefully we will see some improvements."
There are a number of IRL club players in the ISHS open side with halfback Bernetti Graff (Norths Tigers), hooker Regan Wilde (West End), lock Dion Tavita Mativale (Norths) making the run-on side.
Roy Soe (Goodna), Trent Maniera Paul (West End) and Leevai Sutton will join an extended seven-man bench.