The revamped 2021 Tasmanian State Cup was held this weekend, to great success.
Launceston Touch Association won the Women's Open, Mixed Open and Men's 30s divisions to regain the overall State Cup trophy won by Southern Touch in 2020.
The Men's 30s division was tightly contested, with LTA winning the early semi-final for the free ride through to the final, after losing to ST in the last round game on Saturday. An undermanned Devonport TA were unable to get the best of ST in the Preliminary Final, but it turned out that the extra game was too much for ST, with LTA eventually running away in the final 10 tries to 4. Brad Peck from LTA was the Player of the Final.
The Mixed Open division only had two teams this year, and so became a best of 5 games affair that swung back and forth all weekend. The first two games were won by LTA 7-5 and 10-7 in fiery encounters on Saturday, before ST were finally able to settle and give themselves some hope in the third game with an 8-5 victory. Returning on Sunday it looked like ST were going to be able to go on with the fightback after an 8-7 win in game 4, but LTA were able to steady and execute their plays more effectively in the final game, winning 9-6. Meg Sauerwald and Jordan Shipp, both from LTA, were adjudged the players of the series.
The Women's Open division was highlighted by some wonderful action, if not high on suspense, as LTA continued their recent dominance in the state. Led by Alice Robinson, Katie Bessell and Player of the Final Amelia Bransden, LTA were untouchable in the round games winning 15-0, 8-3, 13-4 and 15-0, before dominating the final 12-2 over ST. With an average age still around 20, this team will be very hard to dislodge from the top in coming years.
The Men's Open final was a cracking game, as LTA did everything they could to stop ST from winning their third straight division title. Unfortunately with the game finely poised just before half time ST suffered a game-ending injury to Archie Hurd, who had already scored two of their three tries to that point in the game, the third scored by Harvey Hurd who was doing his best emulation of the great Bruce Doull. To add insult to injury Benji Hill finished off some desperate play by LTA after the siren to close the gap to 3-2 at half time and give LTA some serious momentum. Following the break ST were able to settle with second half tries to Sam Free, Ashton King, stalwart Toby Burgess and Player of the Final Sheldon Smith, which was enough to see them hold off tries from Dylan Headland and Zavier Wootton's second of the game to give ST the 7 tries to 4 victory.
Following the dominant performance in Junior State Cup in February, these final results meant LTA were able to regain the overall State Cup trophy after only one year.
The following referees were also able to be upgraded at the event:
L2 Tua Agaiava (Senior), Chelsea Anderson, Jonty Groves, Benji Hill, Brayden Manshanden and Jade McCullagh
L3 James Dowling, Jordan Shipp and Ryan Shipp
L4 Darren Quinlan
Darren Quinlan was the Referee of the Tournament.