Best in the west have potential for Ipswich Jets
THE Queensland Outback side have returned from Country Week as victors, after defending their title against North Queensland United on Thursday Island.
Playing as a curtain raiser for the Intrust Super Cup on Saturday, the representative side wowed crowds on debut, and fought hard for their 28-18 win.
Coach Wayne Collie credited the side's win, in part, to the unity of his southwest players, which make up half of the all-star team.
"We didn't even get a game before this weekend, we got straight up to that Northern United game and trained twice before we got out there to play," Collie said.
"But nine of our players are from the South West Country side, so they make my job a little bit easier when they've already played together as a squad in the 47th Battalion."
On the ground, Queensland Outback smashed all expectations to take home the trophy, and the coach noted the South West Country alumni were key to the team's overall success.
It was a great effort for the guys to pull it together in such a short time and get some combinations going on the day," Collie said.
"I do believe having the halves from the southwest and a couple of the forwards who already had connections, especially with the Roma Cities boys like Jack Just, Chris Gelhaar and Michael Fletcher helped us.
"Jack, as captain, did an fantastic job, and our fullback Ollie Peak had a really strong game.
"Troy Dempsey, our little halfback from Mt Isa, came off the bench and played some really awesome footy; Chris Gelhaar came off the bench as well to score two tries and played really hard, and one of the most outstanding players was Brendan Grulke from Cities, who was named player of the carnival."
Collie did not hold back in his praise for each Outback player, and went as far as recommending them as future players for sides like the Ipswich Jets in 12 months time.
"Next year we will go through from the country sides and 47th Battalion, where they'll have an opportunity to get picked in the Queensland Rangers.
"There they'll get looked at and could be selected to get a contract with the Ipswich Jets, or one of the Brisbane sides, and these young players can definitely go that way.
"After taking to Jets coach Shane Walker, he is quite interested in a few of our players from this weekend's game.
"I have no doubt he will be ringing those guys to see if they're interested in moving down to the Jets."
The Queensland Outback side was:
- Ollie Peak - South West
- Zeke Thompson - Central West
- Jackson Shillingsworth - South West
- Bronson Smith - Mt Isa
- Steven Daniels - South West
- Tom Kennedy - South West
- Jack Just - South West
- John Russo - South West
- Brendan Grulke - South West
- Mitch Ebdon - Central West
- Michael Fletcher - South West
- Lance Cope - Mt Isa
- Dylan Buckingham - Mt Isa
- Troy Dempsey - Mt Isa
- Curtis Lukas - Mt Isa
- Jakare Kauver - Mt Isa
- Trant Lyons - Mt Isa
- Alistair Lobb - South West