Attacking masterclass sees South Queensland looming
The South Queensland Sharks 18’s Boys side have finished the pool stages of the National Youth Competition with the most potent attack of any team in the tournament, piling on 62 touchdowns to sit atop of Pool C.
With so much talk of a grand final rematch between QSST and the Central Queensland Bulls, the Sharks have flown under the radar for the past three days.
But now the quarter-finals are here it is time for South Queensland to be noticed and mix it with the best after both QSST and Central Queensland also went through their respective pools undefeated.
One other undefeated team remains, with NSWCHS sitting behind the Sharks on for and against in Pool C after playing out a draw with South Queensland on Day Two.
It appears the winner of the competition will come from one of these four teams as they begin to flex their premiership muscles in the knockout stages.
Below is how each team got to be where they are and who they will take on in the first round of finals action.
QSST are a great side and they showed that on Day Three with a commanding 12-3 win over the North Queensland Tropical Cyclones.
First-placed QSST will now take on Pool A rivals NSWCCC in their qualifying final, a team they beat 12-5 on Day Two.
NSWCCC’s third position on the ladder leaves the Sunshine Coast Pineapples in second after a having Day Three off, and they will need to be well rested if they are to challenge the high-flying South Queenslanders in their quarter final.
The fourth-placed Cyclones miss out on playing in the championship finals by just two points, while the Western Tigers finish bottom after failing to record a victory despite their best efforts.
The Bulls’ desire to win the competition was on show during Day Three, with the Central Queenslanders putting together a great performance to defeat the third-placed South West Queensland Swans 9-5.
The two teams will play each other again in the quarter-finals, with the Bulls having the mental edge after their earlier result.
NSWTA sit second in Pool B after a big 8-1 win over the Northern Territory, and they will now take on NSWCHS in a huge game for both teams.
Northern Territory may have been beaten today but they can be proud of their performances, finishing fourth in Pool B ahead of the South Australian Heat.
The Sharks came up clutch on Day Three to score 18 touchdowns in their win over the Victorian Storm.
The 18-2 victory was enough for the South Queenslanders to jump NSWCHS on for and against, gifting the Sharks an easier passage towards the grand final.
NSWCHS came up big winners to knock NSWCIS out of the competition, while Touch New Zealand had another big win, defeating Tasmania 8-3 to continue their strong finish in the pool stages.
Tasmania managed just the one victory but it was enough to finish above the Victorian Storm.