Women’s claim first ASC title as 18s make it 9 in a row
By Tate Spiteri
The 2017 Affiliated States Championships once again returned silverware for the Victorian’s with the U18s claiming their 9th successive title and the Women’s team tasting victory for the first time.
The U18s backed up the belief that they were a special group of players as they destroyed all three of their opponents.
The most devastating of the Victorian’s three performances came with a 104-0 demolition job of South Australia on the tournaments opening day, and Janan Billings’ men didn’t let up. They then defeated Northern Territory 62-0 and Western Australia 52-0 in their next two matches to finish the competition having scored 218 points to none.
The Women’s also won their division in a canter conceding just 12 points and scoring 90 to claim their first Affiliated States title.
In great news for the state, Te Aroha Hapuku, Shahana Te Tomo, Lydia Quedley, Willow Rowland, Jamie Te Pania, Katrina Edwards and Oneata Schwalger were all selected in the Affiliated States Ladies team set to face Cook Islands in Sydney later in the year.
Ali Tuai has also been appointed as the team’s coach.
The Victorian U16 Girls also put in a pleasing display, finishing second to Western Australia. The Victorian’s showed their class defeating South Australia 48-0 and Murdi Paaki 44-10 but were unfortunately outclassed 14-46 against WA.
The Victorian Men’s team were also outclassed during the tournament as they were defeated by both the Northern Territory and Western Australia.
Merg Mikaliaen’s men succumbed to a desperate Northern Territory 26-8 on the opening day of the tournament before grinding out a 22-14 win against hosts South Australia and playing out a competitive 18-0 loss against powerhouses Western Australia.
The 18-point margin was the closest Western Australia had for the tournament.
Northern Thunder's Arana Masoe, Casey’s Brandon Taua’a, Waverley's Ray Losi plus Sunbury pair Tiaan Wilkins and Terry Constantinou were rewarded for their strong tournaments by being selected in the Combined Affiliated States Squad to play England in Perth as a World Cup warm up match.
The match has been described by former NRL star John Reddy as “a massive opportunity” for the Affiliated States’ best players to impress in front of the NRL’s radar.
Another Victorian given a major opportunity is Oneata Schwalger who has been invited to take part in an Australian Jillaroo’s training camp after a strong Championships display.
Schwalger was named the Victorian’s player of the tournament in their landmark championship win.