Following a highly successful season in the Canberra Region Rugby League competition, which saw the them draw the grand final, the Queanbeyan Junior Blues Under 10’s side is preparing to travel to Queensland for the Gorden Tallis Cup.
The cup is a competition aimed at rugby league players in the Under 10’s, and the 2019 edition will see up to 64 teams compete.
Held in Townsville, the cup will be the biggest challenge of the young Blues’ playing careers so far, however Blues coach Jeremy Howell believes that their attitude and cohesiveness as a playing group will give them a good chance against some of the best young teams in Australia.
“I’ve never seen them [their opponents] play before, but I’ve seen these guys be behind when they probably should lose, and I’ve seen them play older teams in the older age groups where they probably should have lost, but one thing they never, ever, ever do is roll over and give up,” Howell said.
“So I’m backing them in to be very competitive up there.”
If the competition has the full compliment of 64 teams attending, they will be split into eight pools of eight. The winner of each pool will play for the Gorden Tallis Cup, while the second, third, and fourth-placed teams will compete for the Reggie Matthews, Jannita Dunn, and Wally Tallis Cups respectively.
Most of the Blues have played together for the last six years, and while that provides some challenges for Howell as a coach, he said that it has helped them play football at a much higher calibre.
Howell said that the team has spent the last few months fundraising in order to cover the costs of travel, and has so far raised $24,000 of their $40,000 goal.
The current amount raised has paid for the flights of the players and their parents, and the rest of the amount will allow them to cover accommodation and allow the kids to enjoy an extracurricular activity during the trip.
The competition will take place across June 29 and 30, 2019. The Blues will hold a sausage sizzle fundraiser this Sunday at Bunnings Warehouse, and anybody interested in donating can contact the club via Facebook or at firstname.lastname@example.org.