This weekend, the Queanbeyan Junior Blues will field three sides in the 2018 Grand Finals.
The Blues’ Under 16’s, Under 15’s, and Under 10’s sides will take to the field across Saturday and Sunday in an effort to be named the premiers of their respective divisions.
Captain: Mitch Day
Coach: Wayne Hoare
A side which is “quietly confident” according coach Wayne Hoare, who believes that last year’s Grand Final berth will provide invaluable experience ahead of their showdown on Sunday with the Woden Rams.
“The boys are ready, they’re a bit better prepared this year,” Hoare said.
“There was probably more excitement last year about just making the Grand Final, where I think this year they’ve actually got that determination and confidence.
“If they perform well, they’ve actually got a chance of winning it.”
Captain and centre for the Blues, Mitch Day, said that his side’s strength lies in their unity.
“We all work good together. There’s not one individual player, we’re all a team,” he said.
Queanbeyan is expecting a physical contest from the Rams, who will be looking to continue the success enjoyed by their First Grade side in last weekend’s Grand Final.
Captain: Mitch Evans
Coach: Zac Patch
The Under 15’s have had a mixed 2018, but will look to capitalise on their good form in recent weeks by finishing well against the North Canberra Bears on Sunday.
The Blues have struggled for numbers this season, which has contributed to their mercurial form, however coach Zac Patch believes that they can produce the goods this weekend.
“I think the boys had a rough start to the season, they’ve only had 12, 13 players for most of the season,” Patch said.
“So to make it through to a Grand Final’s pretty impressive really.”
Similar to the Under 16’s, captain and five-eighth Mitch Evans said that his side are “all good mates and play for each other”.
The Bears finished one spot below the Blues, and were most recently defeated by Queanbeyan in the semi-finals, 22-16.
Captain: Flynn Lovekin
Coach: Jeremy Howell
The Queanbeyan Blues have dominated the Under 10’s Zone Three competition in 2018, with 11 wins and a single loss to their name.
What makes this effort more impressive is that the Blues are a year younger than the competition, and should actually be playing in the Under 9’s. However, they have dominated their age divisions for the past two years and suffered no losses, so coach Jeremy Howell believed that 2018 was the year to challenge his side by pitting them against older opponents.
“I can’t wait,” Howell said.
“The boys have trained hard all year, so they deserve this weekend and I can’t wait to see them out there.”
The Blues will take on West Belconnen this Saturday, who have been the only team to defeat the Minor Premiers this year.
Captain and halfback Flynn Lovekin is shy off the field, but admires Benji Marshall and strives to emulate him on the field.
The Under 10’s side have played together for much of their rugby league careers, and Howell said that their greatest attribute is their intimate knowledge of each other’s games.