18’s Boys kicked of the third day of games at 8am to decide places in the finals series.Cobras disposed of Northern Territory 10-0. 12th seed Western Tigers kept the Eagles to a 7-7 draw. North Queensland produced the upset of the round, beating 10th seed the Suns 12-0. 14th place Tasmania also did well to keep the 5th seed ACT to a 3-3 draw.The 18’s Girls were the second division to play their final round of games, at 9am. 19th seed South Australia narrowly lost to 7th seed Scorpions, 5-4. ACT did similar, just losing 4-2 to the Suns, a team seeded 12 places above them. Northern Territory beat NSWCIS 8-5 in an upset.The 1st seeded Suns easily beat the Cyclones 10-0 in the 20’s Girls final round. 6th seeds the Mets easily beat the 3rd seeded Sharks, winning 7-1. The Hornets did well to beat the 4th seed Eagles, winning 5-1. The other results in this round were predictable, with Tigers beating Victoria and the Cobras beating the Sunshine Coast.In the 20’s Boys, 9th seeded Sunshine Coast drew with the 1st seeded Mets with the Sharks just overcoming the Hornets, 9-8. Suns beat the Eagles, 8-2 and the Cyclones beat Victoria 6-4. ACT and Cobras fought out a tough match, with Cobras winning 10-9.In the first round of finals, the 18’s Boys, 1st seed the Mets were beaten by NSWCCC, 6-3. NSWCHS were too good for NSWCIS, winning 4 touchdowns to 1. Due to their strong wins, CCC will play CHS in semi final two at 9am Saturday morning in a battle of the NSW schools. QSST overcame the Sharks, 5-2 to progress to the finals while the 16th seeded Cyclones knocked Sunshine Coast out of the running, 13-5. The Cyclones, the surprise packet of the 18’s boys, will now play QSST at 9am in their bid to make the Grand Final. In the 18’s Girls, QSST put out their finals warning, beating 12th seed Central Queensland 9-1. Sharks were too good against Sunshine Coast, winning 5-0. QSST and the Sharks will now face off for their shot at the title, playing their Semi Final at 8am. NSWCCC showed no mercy against Northern Territory, putting on 15 touchdowns and only letting in 3. Despite the difference in rankings, the Eagles put up a good fight against NSWCHS, losing 6-3. Like in the Boys 18’s, the Girls semi final number 2 will be NSWCCC V NSWCHS.In the 20’s Boys, the Cobras proved too strong for the Hornets, winning 8-5. The Cobras will now play the Sharks in Semi Final One at 8am. ACT beat the 2nd seeded Suns, winning 8-7 and has set up a show down against the 1st seed Mets in Semi Final One also at 8am.In the 20’s Girls, the Mets were too good for Hornets, winning 9-4. They have now set up a play off against the 1st seeded Suns, to be played at 9am. The Sharks beat the Tigers 5-2 to book a spot in the Semi Finals against the Cobras also at 9am.
July 16-17: Touch SA vs Victoria Touch- `The Junior Border Challenge’. Tracy Frith from Touch SA and Peter Shefford from Victoria Touch have provided us with the following report: In weather conditions (read: rain & hail) reminiscent of the northern state junior championships, the young touch stars of neighbouring states South Australia and Victoria took to the fields last weekend to battle for honours in the 2005 Junior Border Challenge…. The fierce competition between SA and Victoria which has existed for many years in the adult age brackets of Touch & sport in general, has now filtered down to the junior age level. Last weekends Junior Border Challenge saw the Under 18 boys and girls teams from both SA and Victoria compete for the first time in a 3-game series, vying for State supremacy as well as selection for the Crusaders teams to compete at the National Under 18’s Championships in September. For several years now the Open teams have taken part in the series but this was the first time the up and coming talent had been pitted against each other. In support of taking elite touch to the affiliates and hence the title “Border Challenge”, traditionally the event is played in Mt Gambier, which lies on the border of the two states. The playing arena was Grant High School and greatly supported by representatives of the Mt Gambier Touch Association and staff of the school with regard to facilities and field preparation. Given the previous few weeks of wet, windy and cold weather experienced in both SA and Victoria, all expected Mt Gambier to be no different in the middle of July. Despite this thinking, nothing could have prepared us for the atrocious weather conditions all endured including rain, high winds, thunder and hail, with two of the games temporarily delayed during play for all to take shelter while the storm passed. These rising stars also put on a display of tenacious defence, hot stepping attacking action, and of course, the games were played in the sportsmanlike manner one has come to expect in our sport. With the Opens challenge looming up in early September, it was South Australia that drew first blood in the annual interstate series, taking both junior divisions, and the series, with an overall 5-1 win rate. Results from the weekend’s games were: GIRLS 18’s South Australia (5) def Victoria (0) South Australia (3) def Victoria (0) South Australia (7) def Victoria (3) BOYS 18’s South Australia (5) def Victoria (4) Victoria (6) def South Australia (4) South Australia (5) def Victoria (4) * 2005 Border Challenge Under 18’s Girls Champions – South Australia * 2005 Border Challenge Under 18’s Boys Champions – South Australia * 2005 Border Challenge Overall State Champions – South Australia From this event the Crusaders 18 years & under teams were chosen, to contest the ATA Youth Championships in late September. Congratulations to all the plauers that took part and a big thanks to Mt Gambier Touch for hosting the event. The gauntlet has now been laid, and only time will tell whether the Vics can reclaim the ascendancy when the Opens clash down the track …..!? By Tracy Frith and Peter Shefford.