NT Under 16s - Queensland Junior State Championships
 
By Robbie Taylor, NT Under 16 Manager

The NT Under 16's squad for 2014 last weekend travelled to the Queensland State Championships at The Southport School on the Gold Coast. Six Palmerston players toured with the squad: Kael Croker, Jonathon (JJ) Briskin, Johannes DuPlessis, Tommy O'Connor, Isaako Teuati  and Luke Morgan-Doherty (Irish).

The squad were outstanding in their efforts and their attitude both on and off the field. We knew we were going to a tough tournament and only our best would get us even close to the results we had been working hard to achieve. We gave it our best, no doubt about it. But unfortunately, we just don't have the competition in the Territory that is close to the equivalent of that of the Queensland Junior Competition. When people see the results, some may think we got flogged. But from what I saw, we did well and were at stages unlucky to be on the receiving end of some of those scorelines. A special highlight was our discipline. We gave away no yellow cards or red cards, and the referees feedback was always positive and something to be very satisfied with.

The lessons that have been learnt by the players should have the boys keen and primed to finish the season on a high note. For the Palmerston boys, I want to congratulate you boys on what was a really good performance. 

Special mentions to:
JJ Briskin - for scoring the NT's only try all tournament, against the Darling Downs in the final game of the tournament. 
Kael Croker - awarded best back for the NT, not bad for a bloke who has only played a handful of games at outside centre for the Under 17s. 
Luke Morgan Doherty - awarded best forward for the NT. 
Isaako Teuati - named as Captain of the side.

Individually, you guys did your jobs, put your heads down and kept working right to the end:

Kael Croker - tackled everything that ran at him, and did an awesome job to give the ball wide when we needed it to go.
JJ Briskin - ran the ball strong and held tight in defence.
Johannes DuPlessis - stepped up from the bench when injuries hit the squad, and took control of the lineouts with great effect.
Tommy O'Connor - some big hits and some heavy runs had everyone noticing Tommy out on the wing. 
Isaako Teuati - captained the side like a captain should, his actions were as loud as his words. Outstanding effort to work hard in the front row. I reckon he might have surprised himself with how well he went up front.
Luke Morgan Doherty - typical Irish, worked his butt off in every game. Made some massive hits and some huge runs that got us on the front foot when we needed it.

Personally, I want to just say how proud I am of the Palmerston boys (and the entire NT squad), for never giving up, for showing Queensland Rugby the spirit and the fight that we have in us. The behaviour off the field was awesome, and was spent, alot of the time, sharing a laugh with other boys in the squad. These young men were a credit to themselves, their families, and to the Palmerston Crocs. Best of luck for the rest of the season. Well done guys!

Results

Game 1 vs Brisbane Blue - lost 42-0
Game 2 vs Bushrangers - lost 31-3
Game 3 vs Gold Coast - lost 51-0
Game 4 vs Sunshine Coast - lost 43-0
Game 5 vs North Queensland - lost 31-0
Game 6 vs Darling Downs - lost 19-5

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