Regional schoolboys share in superb state title effort
AS a Director of Rugby at West Moreton Anglican College, Ben O'Connell couldn't be more proud of the region's latest schoolboy success.
The Met West under 15 side, featuring a skilful Ipswich connection, was unbeaten on its way to winning the recent QRFSU State Championships in Townsville.
Connell was assistant coach of the 22-strong squad which included players from Ipswich Grammar School, St Edmund's College and Redbank Plains State High School, teaming up with BBC and other Brisbane-based juniors.
"All 22 acquitted themselves well,'' O'Connell said.
"It was a pretty fantastic achievement to go through a state carnival undefeated and with such dominance like they showed through all their games.''
Met West defeated Met North 19-8 in the final to secure the gold medal.
The powerful rugby team started with a 91-0 win over Wide Bay before beating South Coast 41-7, Met East 19-10 and Sunshine Coast 19-14.
Met West continued their amazing run accounting for Northern 52-0 in the semi-final before their grand final success.
The team was coached by Chris Daykin of the Brisbane Islamic College.
The manager was Paul Krause, from Faith Lutheran Plainlands.
The team was captained by Ipswich Grammar student Christian Krause.
Given rugby's recent problems at national and international levels, O'Connell was delighted to see a group of schoolboy players bonding so well and achieving deserved success.
"Definitely schoolboy rugby at that regional level and at that higher level is looking quite strong, which is good,'' O'Connell said.
"We had a collection of some very highly skilled players that pretty much executed the plans that we put in place.''
The squad had four lead-up sessions before linking together so well in Townsville.
A number of the Ipswich and BBC players also have ties to club rugby through Brisbane Wests, providing a new generation of exciting prospects.
"They combined really well and everyone knew their role in the team,'' O'Connell said.
"It was definitely good to get that momentum started that first game against Wide Bay.''
The WestMAC teacher praised regional schools for releasing players to trial for the Met West side and supporting the state titles.
O'Connell's responsibility was working "pretty intensively'' with the backs during the training and carnival.
Daykin looked after the preparation of the forwards.
Some of the Met West players are eligible for a future Junior Gold Cup competition when state team selections are finalised.