Defending champions off to a hot start
A cracking first day of play at Touch Football Australia’s Harvey Norman National Youth Championships has come to an end at Sunshine Coast Stadium.
Sunshine Coast turned it on for Day One, producing beautiful weather that allowed some of the best young talent in Australia to play an exciting brand of Touch Football.
The 18’s Boys started the competition off nice and early, escaping the heat to set the tone of the competition.
The initial stages of the Pool fixtures are vital in setting up each team’s campaign and the front-runners for the title have already emerged in the Boys division.
Last year’s champions QSST have taken off from where they left off last year, putting on a clinic to score 30 touchdowns in two matches.
The lads from Queensland put 15 touchdowns on both the Sunshine Coast Pineapples and the Western Tigers, and they would have to be favourites heading into the latter stages of the tournament.
QSST’s Fletcher Lyneham is the competition’s leading touchdown scorer with six to his name, but a host of rivals are hot on his heels as they try and catch the tournament’s hottest attack.
The North Queensland Tropical Cyclones are the other unbeaten team in Pool A, winning their only game of the day comfortably to sit second.
Thursday looms as a true test of their credentials, with games against Sunshine Coast and NSWCCC set to shape their finals chances.
The Central Queensland Bulls were defeated in the final by QSST in 2016 and that loss has spurred them on to a perfect start this year.
The Bulls conceded just four touchdowns in their two games on Day One, winning matches against the South Australian Heat and Northern Territory by a combined scoreline of 25-4.
A match-up against the unbeaten NSWTA on Day Two will be a clash not to be missed, with both sides wanting to claim top position in Pool B.
The South West Queensland Swans have also made a great start, defeating the Northern Territory 12-1 in their only match of the opening day.
Pool C is a battle in two after Day One, with both NSWCHS and the South Queensland Sharks showing their class to sit at the top of the standings.
Both teams are two from two, but a match-up late on Day Two between the two sides will mean only one can continue on with their perfect start.
Whoever wins that clash will be in the box seat to finish top of Pool C so both teams will be throwing everything at each other to claim victory.
At the other end of the table, it was a tough start to the tournament for both Touch New Zealand and the Victorian Storm, with neither side registering a victory from their two attempts.
Day Two of the 18’s Boys fixtures will begin from 11:30am on Thursday morning at Sunshine Coast Stadium.