Young Barbarians nab summer sevens victories
LAST weekend offered a wave of success for the Coolangatta Tweed Barbarians as they wrapped up the Gold Coast District Rugby Union Summer Sevens competition with two final victories and one runner-up place.
James Sullivan manages the club's juniors and said he was "stoked” with the young players' efforts in the Saturday, November 18, final.
The Barbarians last year fielded just one team in the sevens competition - the under-11s - and came away with a victory.
To surpass that this year with a win for the U10s and second place for the U12s was a coup for the club, Sullivan said.
He said the U11s in particular had shown big promise throughout the seven-week competition.
"We call our U11s team the dream team,” Sullivan said.
He partly attributed the children's success to the competition's Friday night games, which meant the players were able to pursue other codes at the same time, helping them finesse their skills and fitness.
"The kids tend to play other codes. They play representative soccer, AFL, rugby league.”
Sullivan said this experience shone through in their skill on the paddock.
"These kids were all sensational at tackling,” he said.
While they may have faltered at times in the scrums, he said their defence was virtually unrivalled and, for many, the rugby league training the young players received in other competitions had put them in good stead.
"We would encourage other rugby league clubs to put teams into that competition,” he said.
The juniors coach, Drew McCarthy, said it was great to see all three young teams head to the finals.
The U10s went up against the Gold Coast Eagles, while the U11s played Surfers Paradise and the U12s played the Honey Badgers in Saturday's final.
"With the U11s, most of them have played rugby union before,” McCarthy said.
"They've got a lot of good players so we were quietly confident they would get through.”
However, this season was the first time many of the U10s had played rugby sevens.
"That was a real introduction for them throughout the season and for them to get to that position was great,” he said.
"They did very well in that regard.”
The U12s nabbed the first goal of their match and were later tying for most of the game before their opponents stole a win in the dying moments.
But McCarthy said the side played with "a lot of heart”.
"They played to the end and they played to win. They didn't give up.
"From a club that had just one team last year, to take three teams to the grand finals was great.”
In the U10s, Barbarian Calais Hellett-Wharewaka claimed the award for player with the most potential.
Sullivan thanked Twin Towns Services Club for sponsoring each team.
The club is now taking expressions of interest for the main 2018 season of Gold Coast District Rugby Union for U6s to U18s.
If your child is interested in playing, phone James Sullivan on 0414363933 or visit tryrugby.net.au.