DAY ONE SUMMARY
Day one action at the National 18’s Touch Football Championships has set up an extremely tight week of competition, with several sides set to challenge for the titles. The day began with an opening ceremony to welcome players and officials, as well as to sendoff the 10 Australian Open and Senior sides, who are traveling to New Zealand in October for the All Nations Championships. Coffs Harbour Mayor the Hon Keith Rhoades and South Sydney NRL players Joe Williams and John Sutton attended the ceremony, keen to check out the action of day one at the Championships. Traditionally dominated by the combined schools sides and with Queensland Secondary Schools Touch (QSST) defending champions in both divisions, the 2005 event is still proving one of the most open fields in the tournament’s history. MENS DIVISION SUMMARY: The Mens division in particular looks as though any one of six or seven sides could grab the title on their day, with the Sydney Mets, South Queensland Sharks, NQ, Southern NSW Suns and local favourites Northern NSW Eagles all expected to challenge the school sides for a finals berth. The Northern Eagles started strongly, winning 10-3 against the ACT and the Southern Suns also recorded a 6-2 win over Brisbane City. The Eagles and Suns both boast a number of players who represented their regions at the National Under 20 Championships earlier in the year, where the Suns defeated the Eagles in an extremely tight grand final. The Sydney Mets and South Queensland Sharks typified this year’s tournament as they fought it out for a 5-4 win to the Mets, while NQ recorded two wins on their first day and will face tougher sides tomorrow. NSWCHS and QSST both showed they aren’t about to let the regions end their dominance, with NSWCHS recording a first round 15-1 over the Sydney Scorpions and QSST holding back a spirited Northern Territory 12-2. WHO’S LEADING THE MEN’S POOLS? Pool one looks hot (even though that may sound corny), with the Southern Suns and QSST both recording good wins in their first two rounds. The QSST side don’t even look like they’ve really kicked into gear yet, while the Suns look like a very well drilled unit. The Brisbane City Cobras also look like they have the potential to feature come finals time, finishing day one with a strong 13-1 win over Tasmania. In Pool two NSWCHS have had two easy wins, finishing with an 11-2 win over a depleted CQ side. The Hunter Western Hornets have jumped to second in Pool two after two wins over SunCoast and SWQ. Tomorrow will see whether they can match it with more fancied sides such as NSWCHS. Pool three is definitely the pool to watch, with four good teams all capable of challenging come finals. NQ and Sydney Mets are both undefeated in pool three, with Northern Eagles and SQBD both recording a win and a loss on day one. Day two will certainly be telling for this group as NQ and the Mets face off against the Eagles and SQBD. Another addition that heats up pool three is the improvement and more consistent performances from the ACT and Crusaders, who performed well in their first day of matches. WOMENS DIVISION SUMMARY: In the Womens division NSW Combined High Schools (NSWCHS) and QSST both started well, with both teams full of Australian junior representatives and expected to be very tough to beat. NSWCHS recording an 8-2 win in their first round match and a 14-0 win over Tasmania, while QSST warmed up with a 9-0 win over the Sydney Mets and a 14-0 win over the Crusaders (SA and Victoria). NSW Combined Catholic Colleges (NSWCCC) and Western Australia also recorded good wins in their first round matches and showed they are keen to challenge the strength of NSWCHS and QSST, perhaps indicating an upset could be on the cards as the week progresses. The ACT side started well with a 3-2 win over the Sydney Scorpions before falling 4-2 to the Sydney Mets. NSWCIS also showed they’re a team to watch with after going down 8-2 to NSWCHS and then beating TouchWest 2-0. WHO’S LEADING THE WOMEN’S POOLS? NSWCCC and QSST lead Pool one in the Womens Competition, undefeated after the first two rounds, with NSWCCC looking at their strongest in recent years. QSST have already recorded 23 touchdowns in their two matches and have not yet let the opposition cross their line…it will be interesting to see how they go against some tougher opposition. NSWCHS already look like they’ll dominate Pool two, undefeated after two rounds, with Brisbane City Cobras sitting in second. Their draw against North Queensland sets up close competition for the remaining teams in Pool two, as does the performances of TouchWest and NSWCIS. In Pool 3 the Hunter-Western Hornets have jumped to the top of their ladder, with draws being the order of the day in this pool. South Queensland Border Districts (SQBD) and Southern Suns have both recorded two draws for their first two matches and will look to finish their matches off with wins tomorrow. By Rachel Moyle FOR ALL THE LATEST NEWS AND STORIES: www.austouch.com.au has all of the latest news and stories, as well as a photo gallery, match reports and `From the Fishbowl’ reports. FOR ALL THE LATEST DRAWS AND RESULTS: The SportingPulse website has the draws, results and touchdown scorers, as well as some of the stories from www.austouch.com.au and can be accessed using the following link DRAW AND RESULTS FOR 18 YEARS AND UNDER NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS. ARCHIVE: Following the event all stories will be archived on the TFA website Tournaments section which can be found under the ‘Tournaments’ tab or by using this link: 2005 NATIONAL 18 YEARS AND UNDER HOMEPAGE until then though, check www.austouch.com.au regularly for all the news and updates!