U/12 National Championships
By Jayden Cameron
Victoria is once again hosting the National Championships this year, with Casey Fields being the venue for this week’s tournament.
The competition will be held from Sunday 6th August until Saturday 12th August, with the top talent from around the nation setting up in Melbourne aiming to take the trophy back home.
This competition, while being at an U/12 level, can be the kick start of some careers. Nic Cotric, who is currently plying his trade in the NRL with the Canberra Raiders, represented ACT in the same competition in 2011, showing that the pathways are clearly visible and can be reached.
The Victorians, while looking strong, will have a tough draw, being in the same pool as the powerhouses, Queensland and New South Wales.
Rhylis Hohepa’s future looks bright, after a dominant season for Casey, scoring 22 tries, while for Werribee, Frankleen Newah-Jarfoi has scored 16 tries to earn his selection in the team.
It's also very exciting to have our first female in many years representing Victoria this week, Koreti Leilua from South Eastern Titans has proven she deserves to be amongst Victoria's best, and is ready to take on QLD and NSW top players.
Jason Beach was excited about what might lie ahead for his team next week, “We’re excited to be back into the top group, we relish the challenge against the powerhouses”, continuing by talking about his squad, “We are excited about everyone, we have strong forwards who can break the line, but also speed on the wings and in the centre to shock the defence.”
The competition provides a foundation for the grass roots level to be able to represent their State at such a young age, giving them the confidence to continue on further in their development.
- Game 1: Victoria vs. New South Wales INV – Sunday 6th August, 11.30am
- Game 2: New South Wales vs. Victoria – Monday 7th August, 12.00pm
- Game 3: Queensland vs. Victoria – Tuesday 8th August, 10.00am
- Wednesday: Excursion Day (day off)
- Thursday: Quarter Finals
- Friday: Semi-Final
- Saturday: Finals
Team List – Victoria
1 Rhylis Hohepa
2 Frankleen Newah-Jarfoi
3 Phoenix Estall (C)
4 Owen Taunuu
5 Koreti Leilua
6 Jackson Jury
7 Rua Ropoama
8 Joel Hill
9 Clayton Tapelu
10 Malachi Vaeau (VC)
11 Cyprien Kaiou
12 Matagi Punefu
13 Caedus Vaihu
14 Tipi Leha
15 Corey Leumaga-Chan
16 Alizae Tukapua
17 Kacidee Fa'alavaau
Head Coach – Jason Beach (Cranbourne East P.S)
Assistant Coach – Luke Wilson (Narre Warren South P-12 College)
Manager – Donna Westie (School Sport Victoria)