Juniors learn from Qld's best
TOUCH: A talented Rockhampton outfit has played out a 6-all draw with the Queensland State of Origin open men's team in an exhibition match played in the city.
The game was staged in conjunction with a coaching clinic organised by Rockhampton Touch and conducted by the Queensland players at the weekend.
About 90 players, ranging in age from 10 to 17, took part in the clinic which focused on game basics, defensive drills, footwork and agility and decision-making.
Rockhampton's Dan Withers, who is captain of the Queensland team, said it was a fantastic day.
"It was a really, really good turnout and the kids had an absolute ball and so did the Queensland players.
"It was great for us to get in there and pass on some skills and tips to these promising youngsters. Their attitude and willingness to learn was impressive.”
Withers said the match against the Rockhampton team at the end of the day provided a true test for the Queensland team, which is preparing for the three-game State of Origin series to be played in Sydney on September 2 and 3.
"It was the back end of a long day for the Queensland players, we had been running since 9am, but having said that the Rocky team was incredible,” he said.
"The pace and the skill was fantastic. There's nowhere else in Australia where we could go as a Queensland team and have that calibre hitout.
"It was a real credit to them; they had a point to prove and they turned up to play.
"It was great for the Rocky players to get that sort of exposure as well. There's definitely a few of them who have put their name in the mix for future Origin selection.”
Withers is joined in the Queensland team by fellow Rocky reps Jayden Benbow, Dave Zanette and Trevor Moran and he is confident about their chances in the upcoming series.
"We are prepring well. I'm really comfortable with where we're at and hopefully all our hard work pays off with a win in September,” he said.