Finals on the line as Victoria hunt Mustangs in Toowoomba

By Tate Spiteri

 

 

 

With just two games remaining in the Mal Meninga U18s and FOG’s U20 Cups both Victorian teams are in the middle of a logjam as a flurry of teams remain in the mix for a finals berth.

 

Both teams sit 8th on their respective ladders with an even 2-2 ledger to go with the round 1 bye points.

 

Only the top four will qualify for finals from the fifteen and sixteen team leagues.

 

The U18s competition is particularly close despite both the Norths Devils and Western Mustangs sitting undefeated and two wins clear of the rest of the competition.

 

The next eight teams on the ladder, including Victoria are all equal on six points making every game, and every try for that matter from here on in extremely important.

 

Conversely, in the U20s competition all four finals spots are still very much up for grabs with the ladder leading Redcliffe Dolphins just a single win ahead of the eighth placed Victoria.

 

The Western Mustangs in Toowoomba this Sunday will be the first hurdle the Victorians need to overcome if they are to play finals this season.

 

The Mustangs pose a significant challenge for the Victorians with both their teams currently sitting inside the top 4.

 

Though it must be noted the U18s Mustangs undefeated start to the season includes two byes.

 

The U20s can leapfrog the Mustangs with a win Sunday due to their superior point difference while the U18s will also be guaranteed to climb the ladder with a win this week due to many of the teams above them playing each other this weekend.

 

Into the team for the first time this week for the U18s are Northern Thunders Brandon Saena and Giovanni Kubik.

 

Coach Ash Lanfranchi would have been particularly disappointed with last weekend’s loss after the Victorians conceded three tries in the first thirteen minutes despite stressing during the week how important it was they started the game well.

 

The U20s were also slow getting out of the blocks conceding two tries in the opening five minutes before recovering to record a 16-point win.

 

The slow starts were always a strong possibility with last weeks trip being the Victorians first away game for the season.

 

Both camps will hope to be better prepared this week and will aim to put the pressure straight on the Western Mustangs.

 

This weeks games start at 1.30 and 3pm on Sunday at Gold Park in Toowoomba.

 

The teams are:

VICTORIA U18’s Mal Meninga Cup Team

1.            Aaron Papatua

2.            Brandon Saena

3.            Antonio Sanele

4.            Junior Teroi

5.            Joe Waqlevu

6.           Chevan Papatua

7.            Jai Taepa ©

8.            Nic Flocas

9.            Haele Finau

10.         John Salatielu

11.         Anzac Leavai

17.         Brandon Pritchard  

13.         TeJay Mulaai

 

14.         Chase Rye

15.         Jermaine Tui

16.         Teofilo Seigafo

19.         Giovanni Kubik

 

Coach – Ash Lanfranchi

 

 

VICTORIA U20’s Cup Team

1.            Chase Aporo

2.            Uala Salia

3.            Will Sila

19.         Jacob Cordtz

5.            Liam Headon

6.            Nikau Williams ©

7.            Trent Toelau

8.            John Schwalger  

9.           James Brooks

10.         Nick Hay

11.         Jordin Leiu ©

12.         Rylie Williams

13.         Conaniah Kirisome

 

15.         Sulio Fifita

16.         Seu Seuiavatele

17.         Zev John

20.         Kelma Tuilagi

 

Coach - Janan Billings 

 




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