Under bright blue skies and with kunanyi/Mt Wellington setting a magnificent background 400+ of the State’s best junior players, coaches and officials descended on Wentworth Park in Hobart to contest Junior State Cup for the second year under the revised format.
Building from the success of the inaugural year the event in 2022 grew to 34 teams across 8 divisions and included for the first time an Under 10’s division. The under 10 division comprised teams from Devonport Touch Association (DTA) and Condors Touch Club from Southern Touch (ST) in Hobart. The teams played 3 games on Saturday with Condors getting the advantage 2 games to 1. At the end of the day all players received a participation medal, but most seemed more impressed with the ice block in the warm conditions.
First games tapped off on Saturday morning and right from the start the games were close and keenly contested with fewer than 3 tries separating teams in the majority of games in all Divisions. It was obvious that everyone had come to play and to win teams were going to have to be “on their game”.
Across the weekend there was one extremely courageous effort that we feel deserves a special mention: the Pirates Under 12G team arrived Saturday morning with the bare minimum 6 players, battled through 3 games on the Saturday and did it all with a huge smile on their faces. Unfortunately, a couple of injuries put paid to their tournament on the Sunday. The Bears Under 16B team who also played all Saturday with only 6 players before gaining 1 additional for Sunday managed to make it to the Final only to run out of legs and go down in a tight contest. It was an impressive effort.
The weekends winners were;
Under 12 Girls Condors
Under 14 Girls Aztecs
Under 16 Girls Phantoms
Under 18 Girls Aztecs Gold
Under 14 Boys Grasscutters
Under 16 Boys Sharks
Under 18 Boys Condors
CLUB & OVERALL
Boys Club Sharks
Girls Club Aztecs
Overall Club Aztecs
Junior State Cup Launceston Touch Association.
The weekend was not just about the players with a number of referees being assessed over the weekend for badge upgrades. In total an additional 7 referees were successful in receiving an upgrade to level 2 and 3 received Level 3 accreditation.
Southern Touch should be commended for their hard work in setting up and hosting Junior State Cup. They have certainly set a standard and created a high bar for other Associations when it is their turn.
All in all Junior State Cup was great fun and enormously successful and we hope that everyone is just like us and can’t wait to do it again next year – Launceston Touch Association will host on 18-19 February 2023.
Photo credit: photos by kristi