first_imgSCHOOL TOUCH STARS SOAK UP THE SUN The Schools Sport Australia Combined Touch Tournament got underway today, much to the delight of eager players, referees, spectators and tournament organisers who gathered together for the Tournament Opening Ceremony before the first round of fixtures. The band played, the athletes marched, the oath was taken, and the anthem was sung with patriotic fervour. Sort of like the Olympics, minus half finished venues and Jana’s knee. The Gold Coast did their best as host venue by matching the warm weather with a cosy reception for the visiting Touch fraternity. After exchanging pleasantries, it was down to business as the first day of competition began in earnest. Traditional heavyweights of the school Touch scene QLD and NSW, began strongly in both the respective Girls and Boys 12 Years, and Girls and Boys 15 Years age divisions. The Qld 12 Years Girls team began the quest for their tenth straight National crown with impressive 24 – 0, and 15 – 0 victories over their opponents today with Sarah Monaghan and Emilee Cherry leading the way in an impressive team effort. NSW also began well in this division, recording 7-1, and 14 – 0 score lines which augers well for their progression in the tournament. South Australia and ACT recorded a win and a loss, with Tasmania, NT, and Victoria coming up empty in their two outings thus far. Never mind, there are plenty more touchdowns and victories in `them there fields’. The 12 Years Boys division is already shaping as a showdown between the Maroons and Blues with both teams finding form immediately and clocking up touchdowns `quicker than a Zyrtec’ as they recorded big victories in their two round games today. ACT are not about to let bragging rights and the title go easily to the QLD and NSW powerhouses, also beginning impressively, registering a well structured 8 -1 win over South Australia, then dominating Tasmania by 20 – 0. Qld flexed their muscles with a 28 – 0 opening against Tasmania, and backed up with an emphatic 15 – 0 victory over Northern Territory. NSW, not to be outdone, began brilliantly with a 12 – 0 win over Northern Territory, then completed the day with a comprehensive victory over South Australia 29 – 0. NT, SA, and Tasmania are sure to benefit from the standard of the competition in the coming days, and will look to improve on their first day efforts. QLD and NSW head the table in the 15 Years Girls with dominant displays on day one. Ali Briggenshaw and Samantha Hopkins are leading the way for a rampaging QLD team who hold an impressive 53 – 2 for and against record after their three victories on the opening day of competition. NSW also swept aside their opening day opponents with three emphatic wins, which indicates they are on track and building for a great tournament. SA, ACT, TAS, and WA have one win a piece, whilst Victoria and NT still have some work to do, but plenty of opportunities, to record their first tournament victory tomorrow . The 15 Years Boys has seen QLD, NSW, and the ACT dominating proceedings at the end of day one. The ACT recorded a 4-1 victory over NT, then backed up with a 10 -5 win over WA and then produced a solid effort to defeat South Australia 7 – 2 and make it three wins from as many games. QLD opened their 2004 tournament account with an 18 -0 romp over SA. NSW disposed of Victoria 11 -2 in their opening round to set up a heavyweight rumble with QLD in their second round encounter. The game was a great advertisement for attacking touch which Qld eventually won 8 – 4. (see game of the day report) Northern Territory recorded two victories from three games today, whilst WA and Tasmania fought out a 3-3 draw, the first of the tournament. South Australia and Victoria are toiling hard and will look to tomorrow for an improved showing. So that was day one! Tents disassembled, ice to the injury site, sunburn to be treated, videos to pour over, defences to be addressed and attacking plans to be hatched and then… we’ll do it all again tomorrow. The weather is sure to get hotter and so will the competition with tomorrow featuring the marquee QLD v NSW clashes in the 12 Years Girls and Boys and the 15 Years Girls. The ACT will take on both NSW and QLD in the 15 Years Boys in top of the table encounters in that division. All teams will have adjusted to the tempo of the tournament by tomorrow and I’m sure will pack their best game day faces in their kit bag, get down to Owen Park if you can for what promises to be a fantastic day of competition. By Karley Bankslast_img

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