GALLERY: Gympie lads shine in 34-7 thrashing of Coolum
RUGBY UNION: The James Nash State High School under-14 boys have seized a top spot in the Sunshine Coast Emerging Schools Competition with a 34-7 thrashing of Coolum State High School in Gympie this week.
The competition runs for six weeks and round one kicked off at Jack Stokes on Wednesday afternoon.
With plenty of wind around and a high temperature, the conditions were a bit tough.
James Nash is a strong rugby school but despite being the favourite, in the second half Coolum's defence drastically improved and they were able to slow the Gympie onslaught.
The two sides scored a try each in the second half, after James Nash charged over for five tries in the first half.
A strong defensive performance secured Nash its first win of the competition.
MORE LOCAL SPORT:
Despite blooding a few players the local side there was no shortage of talent. Fullback Hayden Cook organised the boys directing plays and was dubbed the best back of the game.
Cook said there were a few players from other codes and the team had not had much training but the boys were still able to get the job done.
"It was great to see them all out there and after the first half everyone had full confidence in the second half and we got the win,” he said.
"It was a strong game in the second half. You might not have seen much action in the second half but everyone was improving, they were talking more and confidence with what they were doing.”
The young gun has been playing for two years and after a successful season last year he wants to build off that momentum.
"I have been training every day and I have been doing pretty well,” Cook said.
"I got the opportunity to play in a new team and it felt pretty good. This is the first time we have played against secondary schools so it has been pretty good with a bit more competition.”
There were a few highlights from last season; one was playing in the grand final but Cook said there were a few goals for this competition.
"We lost but it was great to be there, first year with the boys and learning new skills with our coach (Clint Morrison),” he said.
"We want to have a good pre-season tournament and then get ready for next year.”
Queensland Reds Sunshine Coast development officer Matt McInnes said this competition would allow fresh talent to be in the limelight.
"There are six school in this competition - James Nash, Coolum, Chancellor State College, Nambour State College and Mountain Creek State High School,” he said.
"The competition is funded by the Ramsay Foundation and it will boost the sport in non-traditional rugby schools.
"Queensland reps will be looking for talent that could be picked for the Queensland Youth Academy teams. There are a few stand outs but Nash and Chancellor are going to be the hot runners but hopefully more talent can come out of the teams as we progress.”
Round 2 will kick off next Wednesday, October 23, at Noosa Dolphins Club at Bicentennial Drive.
If anyone is interested to play rugby or are looking for a club in the Gympie region or Sunshine Coast email email@example.com