Mitchell Bourke on the way to scoring a try. Warwick teammates Ryan Bowerman, Ryan Balint and Dylon Marsh are in support.
Mitchell Bourke on the way to scoring a try. Warwick teammates Ryan Bowerman, Ryan Balint and Dylon Marsh are in support.

Little rat racks up 100

WARWICK Water Rats under-10 outside centre Mitchell Bourke has been the first little rat to score a century of tries in the Darling Downs junior competition.

He scored three tries and kicked a conversion in a 27-12 win against the Toowoomba City Bears in Darling Downs junior rugby union fixtures at Risdon Oval on Saturday.

Mitchell is in his third season of rugby union for a Warwick club which is going great guns at junior level.

His third try on Saturday was his 100th for the club.

In his first season in the under-8 competition in 2009, he scored 44 tries and backed up with 35 in his first season in the U10 grade last season.

His three tries at the weekend takes his season tally to 21.

Mitchell said he really appreciated the work of his teammates who set up tries for his team.

“My career highlight is playing a game during the Wallabies and Springboks Test match last year at Suncorp Stadium,” he said.

Warwick junior rugby president Ian Wallis said Mitchell was an extremely talented young player.

“He plays in the centres and once he gets a bit of room, he is almost unstoppable in loose play,” Wallis said.

“Mitchell has a good step and plenty of speed.

“The under-10 side has a strong pack of forwards and classy backs that create plenty of attacking opportunities.

“Our dominant forward pack often drags in a couple of the opposition backs, which creates opportunities for Warwick and Mitchell is one player who really capitalises on it.

“Flyhalf Lo Wiid and inside centre Ryan Bowerman are unselfish with the ball and willing to use the speed of Mitchell to advantage.”

Two of the Gilmore brothers from Allora, James (under 12) and William (under 8) are among other Warwick players to score more than 10 tries this season.

On Saturday, Warwick finished with two wins and two losses.

In the U12 game, Darcy Meek scored a good try in his side’s narrow loss to the Bears while James Gilmore saved a number of tries with good defence.

Warwick started slowly in the U8 game against Bears before scoring some early tries in the second half.

While the team was beaten, coach Wallis said it was a strong performance by his side.

In the U6 game, Percy Kruger scored four tries for the Warwick side in their win.

Wallis expects the number of Warwick junior players to increase again next year.

“Numbers have been steadily increasing in our three years,” Wallis said.

“Parents like the fact all of our players are on the field for 90 per cent of each game.”

With news that the Warwick A-grade team has pulled out of the senior competition, Wallis is

keen to see the junior players move up to senior ranks in the years to come.

“We hope to field teams in older age groups next year, particularly an under-13 side,” Wallis said.

The Water Rats juniors will now travel to Toowoomba and Goondiwindi for their final two games of the season.

There are no finals or premiers as a points table is not kept.

The final day is the junior carnival at Goondiwindi on August 6.



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