Teenage Diggers unearth talent
THE Jets' Queensland Cup team was not the only side to show immense improvement on last year's efforts at the North Ipswich Reserve last Saturday.
Both the Ipswich Diggers under-16 and under-18 teams defeated the Sunshine Coast in their respective curtain-raisers to the Ipswich Jets versus Sydney Roosters clash..
After scraping together just one win between them in the Cyril Connell and Mal Meninga Cups last season, the Diggers combinations played with skill and strength to overcome their opponents.
The under-16 team smashed its opposition 38-6 while the under-18s had to hold out a late comeback to win 26-20.
Yet under-18 coach Chris Doyle said he was disappointed with his team's performance.
“We weren't the better team,” Doyle said.
“We gave up an 18-point lead which isn't good enough.
“We had just 55 per cent of possession and you shouldn't win games with that sort of completion rate.
“I watched the video and Sunshine Coast had a lot of opportunities to put us away.
“Our guys just kept dropping the ball in the tackle.
“We will have to do a lot of work on ball handling under pressure this week.”
Doyle is perhaps being harsh on his team which was missing 10 of their best 17.
The four Keebra Park NRL-signed players, among the region's best rugby league teenagers, are still not training with the team while a handful of 18-year-old players are absent.
“I was happy with our fitness and some of the players performed well.”
Nippy winger Luke Verrall was excellent for the under-18 team while secondrower Luke O'Doherty also performed well.
Both Diggers underage teams face Toowoomba in two weeks time.