The Spot Light by Joel Morgan - Junior Development Sucess and Mal for Immortal
September 24th, 2012
The successful CQ NRL Bid Junior Development Program is about to open for the second time this with the new U13 squad joining last year’s undefeated U14 batch (with up to 9 new players). The program’s development camp will begin Saturday 22 September and run until Tuesday 25 September with a wide range of sessions including; training, player welfare education, team building, strength and condition (plus instruction & testing) and specialised athletic profiling.
The CQ NRL Bid Junior Squads than embark on a four day Southern tour from October 17 to 20 to face two of the top schools in South East Queensland, Marsden SHS (Brisbane) and Keebra Park SHS (Gold Coast), including a range of team sessions and a visit to the Gold Coast Titans Centre of Excellence (possibility of home matches sooner or later). Juniors in the two squads represent a majority of the regions and towns in the Central Queensland bid catchment including; Rolleston, Gladstone, Longreach, Rockhampton, Yeppoon, Bundaberg, Childers, Proserpine, Mackay, Clermont, Munduberra, Monto, Moranbah, Hughenden, Biloela, Barcaldine, Tieri and Middlemount. If last year’s results and witnessing a development camp is anything to go by than this year will be every bit as successful.
Central Queenslander’s shine in NRL Finals
Despite not possessing an NRL club there are still 6 Central Queensland juniors in with a chance to progress to the NRL Grand Final, with a total of 18 eligible Queenslander eligible players left. It is a sign of the ever increasing talent flowing out of the region’s rugby league production line from Mackay to Burnett that 11 CQ juniors were still left alive from the beginning of the NRL Finals throughout lineups (inlcuding extended bench players).
This weekend will see Storm’s Dane Nielsen (Mackay) face Daly-Cherry Evans (Mackay) and Matt Ballin (South Burnett), while Ben Barba (Mackay) will battle against Dave Taylor (Central Highlands) and Chris McQueen (Sotuh Burnett) for a place in the Grand Finals.
8th Australian Rugby League Immortal
The 8th Immortal will be named on Thursday September 27 of the NRl grand Final Week at the 2012 Men of League Gala Dinner by Rugby League Week and a host of well respected voters. Likely candidates have been suggested as Norm provan, Ron Coote, Andrew Johns and our own Mal Meninga.
Monto Junior, Mal Meninga is vying to become the third Queenslander to be promoted to the prestigious tag.
He played over 355 first grade matches for Souths Magpies (BRL, 158 game, 1225 points), Canberra Raiders (NSWRL, 166 games, 864 points) and St Helens (UK RFL, 31 games, 128 points), while representing Queensland (holding record of 161 points) 32 times and Australia in 46 Tests (record 272 points). Mal won 6 out of 8 participated first grade Grand Finals across all three clubs. He’s the only player to play in four Kangaroos tours and only player to captain a tour twice. Mal won 5 series wins from 11, with 2 one-off match wins in 1980 and 1981, but missed the 1987 and 1988 series wins through injury. He was also aprt of the undefeated 1982 “Invincibles” Kangaroo squad. Post-Career Mal has earnt an ARL hall of Fame selection, QRL Team of the Century, ARL Team of the Century selection (Centre) and thus Australia’s 100 Greatest Players.
While immortal status is only playing times, his success also extends to the Origin arena having wrapped up 7 series in a row with 15 wins from 21 games.
TESTS / INTERNATIONALS
Scott Prince (Mt ISA Junior) was named as Captain for the PM XIII vs PNG Kumuls match in Port Moresby on Sunday, September 23. While so far for the Kangaroos and Kiwis Train on Squads, Hoffman (Mackay junior) for the Kiwis and Matthew Scott (Illfracombe) for the Kangaroos with more potentially to feature as the finals are completed such as CQ juniors; Dave Taylor, Ben Barba, Daly-Cherry Evans and Matt Ballin.
NSW and QLD Cups
On the weekend, Blackwater product Tom Humble (Wests Tigers) featured in an elimination Semi Final for Balmain against Mackay junior Pat O’Hanlon (Parramatta Eels) played for Wentworthville.
In this Sunday’s Intrust Super Cup Grand Final at Suncorp Stadium at 4pm our own Marty Hatfield and Tom Murphy for the Dolphins and Jake Granville for the Seagulls are involved.