Ipswich’s footy nursery healthy after double Cup success
ONE undefeated team, a second grand final success and a third side added to the Broncos Cup competition: Ipswich State High's footy nursery is healthy.
After Ipswich High's Open combination recently made the Langer Cup semi-finals, the school's promising younger brigade also stepped up to make three Struddys Cup grand finals on Tuesday.
Ipswich's Year 9 team completed an undefeated campaign with an 18-10 victory over Redcliffe at Acacia Ridge.
Ipswich's Year 8 side also won their grand final, avenging their only previous loss to Alexandra Hills. Ipswich won Wednesday's duel 36-6 at the same venue.
Ipswich's trifecta attempt was denied when Redcliffe won the Year 7 SEQ competition finale 30-10.
However, Ipswich State High Academy head coach Josh Bretherton was delighted with all the junior sides, highlighting the emerging talent.
"We're very happy with that. They did a good job,'' he said.
"Grand finals can go either way.
"We went into the day going if we win one, I'll be happy. Everything else is a bonus.
"The Year 7s have also qualified for the Broncos Cup next year . . . which is the important thing for them.
"So all three of those teams have had some success.''
The inaugural Struddys Cup for younger teams is a second tier SEQ competition for schools with established rugby league programs.
It is a terrific foundation for higher level series in the future, like the Langer Cup.
"For our juniors, it's a really good achievement and a good stepping stone to then launch into those comps next year,'' he said.
"It (the Struddys Cup) is a high level comp with quality kids from around South East Queensland. There is still plenty of state players and stuff like that.
"So there's all sorts of valuable lessons in that.
"Every little success is just a step forward in the growth of the program and the growth of the players as individuals.''
Bretherton praised winning coaches Daniel Hobden and Peter Poole for their efforts.
"They do a fantastic job, heaps of hard work,'' Bretherton said.
"Daniel did a really good job with those Year 9s getting them playing really physical football, which is something that they needed to improve on this year.
"He's put a lot of work this year into improving their physicality and improving their ability to contest over the length of the game. Not to play in waves.
"The Year 8s lost one game for the year (against Alexandra Hills).
"Pooley has done an unbelievable job since then to making sure they got to the final but also turning around their mindset towards Alex Hills. To actually get that result yesterday and quite comfortable from the last time they played was an awesome effort.''
Ipswich State High's Year 7 runners-up qualified for next year's Broncos Cup competition.
The winning Ipswich State High Year 9 squad: Regan Arch, John Little, Frank Melelosa, Mahonri Tiotala, Harlyn Westlake, Duran Balogh, Lesayne Tuiasau, Maaro David, John Kavapele, Nyven Ulugia, Ogden George, Oliva Iaulual, Iosefa Kolio, Blake Theuarkauf, Jayden Falesita, Heinrich Sanft-Vagaia, Kane Self, Harry Soderquist, Alma Taua, Austin Mann.
ISH's victorious Year 8 squad: Tyler Theurkauf, Jyah Sharp, Jedt Anderson, Jye Gibson, Leroy Charles, Isaiah Pene, Ethan Court, Mafiou Cherif, Jackson Scott, Cooper Cracknell, Cooper Barter, Princeton Ioane, Josiah Grey, Bill Fraser, Jabiri Mack, Luke Cronon, Neil Toloefoa, Xzavier Timoteo, Kevin Pailegutu, Jake Wade, Junior Iopu.
STATE OF PLAY
Struddys Cup grand finals
Year 7: Redcliffe SHS def Ipswich SHS 30-10.
Year 8: Ipswich SHS def Alexandra Hills 36-6.
Year 9: Ipswich SHS def Redcliffe SHS 18-10.