2022 JSC – U15 Boys Wrap

After 3 furious days of representative rugby league in WA our Junior State Championships finally came to an end on the 2nd of October with our finals in the U13s Boys, U13s Girls and U15s Boys.

While we know the results, we thought a nice wrap of the teams was appropriate for our amazing junior teams who went toe to toe over the three days.

We will be finishing with the U15 Boys competition.

1st – Southern Pride – Winners
Coached by Patrick Lilii, the Pride team were the true grinders of the competition. While not perfect, they always left themselves a chance to win the game, and controlled their sets with aplomb. A well balanced team, they had a no nonsense, but talented pack of forwards and a very talented spine which allowed them to always be in the game with a chance. Probably the slight favourites going in, with the feeder teams attached, the Pride stuttered a bit on the opening day, but managed to pull it all together for their semi final and grand final performance.

While their star studded pack recieved alot of praise, and with Inall, Kemp, Saunderson & Scott all members of the U15 state side it was easy to see why. But Patelesio Sio showed why he is rated a promising talent with his tough performances providing a corner stone for this side. And the class of their spine was easy to see with Ricco Lilii, Josiah Tanonef and Khan Pokere dominating the games as the number one spine at the Junior State Championships in 2022.

2nd – North West Reds
The boys from the North West produced a stunning upset of a strong Fusion side to reach their first ever Junior State Champs grand final. And while they were ultimately outclassed and probably a bit out of petrol on the final day, they did themselves and their region proud. Coached by Reds stalwart Matty Corpus, they played a style of confrontational rugby league which was bash and barge football at its best. With a big pack and some real heavy hitters, their style actually worked against them when taking on the tall timber from the Pride, but none the less they represented their region and families with pride in 2022.

Led by the extremely classy Mitch Wilson, who can play anywhere in the backs with his speed and ability, there were some other delightful unknowns who shone on the weekend. Spine players Charlie Bannister and Kai Kirkwood were happy to mix it with the most talented from the Perth area, while they definitely loved the help of some Perth based players in Ruan Oliver and Vann Jager who only added to the Reds culture for the weekend.

3rd – Northern Fusion
Qualifying first for the semi final fixtures, it seemed the Fusion and Pride were destined to meet in yet another decider after the pool performances. But alas, they were ambushed by a pumped up North West Reds team who got to a lead and hung on for dear life in the second half. The Fusion side, who were onto their fourth coach from the start of the year, had Justin Buckley and Tony Sinclair take the reigns over the weekend. And they showed flashes of their ability in their games, but were just unable to find that consistency they were searching for.

Again they were led by some brilliant performances, none more so than captain Reuben Dickson who was tireless in his efforts. Speed men Isiah Wuruki and Dermott Arthy showed they won’t be beaten for pace, constantly shutting down long attacking raids, while Brodie Dunn was at his creative best. But one player who really caught the eye was powerhouse Lukas Tioko who looks to have gained some serious leg speed, and hooker Tom Sinclair, whos delivery from dummy half was the best in the competition.

3rd – Invitational
Now I’ve put Invitational in equal third with Fusion, but this was the most open U15 competition we have had in years. Everyone was capable of beating everyone else, and coached by Leon Puletaha, the Invitational boys got activated in a hurry and really showed they could bang with the best of them. Coming home with a wet sail in all their games, they finished over the top of most teams, but slow starts where the antitheses of this team. With supreme talent and some of the real heavy hitters in this competition, the invitational will count this one as a missed opportunity.

The everpresent Jeremiah Grant was strong for the yellow and black, while Darcey Gane is as honest a player as you will ever meet in the middle of the park. But the next two players were the standouts for the School. Captain Blake Woodrow was in the thick of everything especially defensively, while the undeniable Ayede Taw was the pick of the players at the championships as he constantly punched holes in opposition defences.

What a tournament! What a great weekend! Looking forward to 2023!