Collegians halfback Angus Croft slices through between two defenders to score a try against Wattles in the Under-16 preliminary final and will be a key player in the grand final on Saturday at Sullivan Oval.
Collegians halfback Angus Croft slices through between two defenders to score a try against Wattles in the Under-16 preliminary final and will be a key player in the grand final on Saturday at Sullivan Oval. Jeremy Sollars

Talking tactics for the big game

GETTING up quickly on the Goondiwindi Boars under-16 kickers is one of the ways to grand final success on Saturday at Stanthorpe, according to Collegians co-captain Dave Dwan.

Goondiwindi has four teams in Saturday's grand finals, Collegians three and Wattles, Eastern Suburbs and Stanthorpe one each.

Dwan is hooker for the young Dragons and shares the captaincy with second-rower Tom Hardy.

"Goondiwindi are a quick side so we have to be on our game in defence," Dwan said.

"We are a much better side this season."

After a 22-18 preliminary final victory against Wattles on Saturday, the Collegians' U16 squad trained at the Warwick Boxing Club gym on Sunday afternoon to boost their fitness for the grand final.

But according to long-time boxing trainer Ross Brackin, the session was more about the players going a little bit extra.

"We did a lot of cardio work to get the blood to the muscles; it was more a mental session where players were asked for an extra effort," he said.

"At the gym, there are no distractions like a truck driving past or a bird flying over," Brackin said.

"Players have to push through the fatigue."

Hardy said he had enjoyed the sessions at the boxing club gym late in the season.

"These sessions help me go a bit extra."

Fullback Alex Stewart said Chris Mauch had done a lot of fitness work with the team.

"Coach George McVeigh is big on fitness," he said.

Dan Watson is the Collegians' kicker after landing three from four last Saturday. He has landed conversions from touch.

Goondiwindi won the first round clash this season and the major semi-final, with Collegians victorious in the second round clash.

Brackin has no doubt the extra finals game had helped the Dragons prepare for the grand final.

Quinton Mauch is in his first season in the U16 grade and has won two of the three grand finals he has played in.

For the oldest members of the team like Dwan and Hardy, Saturday is the last chance of a premiership win after going down to Goondiwindi at Goondiwindi in the U14 season decider two years ago.

 

Draw

DRAW for the Warwick and District Junior Rugby League grand finals on Saturday at Stanthorpe.

  • 9am: Under 11 Wattles v Goondiwindi
  • 10.15am: Under 12 Stanthorpe v Goondiwindi
  • 11.30am: Under 13 Collegians v Goondiwindi
  • 12.45pm: Under 14 Eastern Suburbs v Collegians
  • 2pm: Under 16 Collegians v Goondiwindi


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