The 2023 Queensland Touch Football Junior State Cup champions have been crowned after an action packed finals day in Rockhampton.
With more than 862 games played across 20 divisions over the last three days, the competition came to a head on Saturday, with the best junior touch football talent from across the state going head to head in a battle for the overall championship crown.
QTF CEO Greg Denny offered his congratulations and thanks to the touch football community for a great 2023 Junior State Cup.
“On behalf of Queensland Touch Football, I’d like to thank the players, coaches, officials, referees and supporters for joining us in Rockhampton for the 2023 Junior State Cup,” Denny said.
“Each year at this event, I am reminded of the talent and passion that exists within our touch football community, and this year was no different.
“Events like this would not be possible without the support of our partners and I’d like to thank the Rockhampton Regional Council for their long term support of the Junior State Cup and we look forward to coming back in 2025.
QTF Ambassador and Brisbane Broncos NRLW coach Scott Prince said it was great to see the talent on show in Rockhampton.
“It was fantastic to see the next generation of touch football stars giving it their all over the last couple of days at the Junior State Cup,” Prince said.
“The Junior State Cup is a fantastic opportunity for our young guns to go head-to-head with some of the best talent from across the state.
“Pathways events like the Junior State Cup can be some of the highlights of an athlete’s career, I still remember the underage events I played in as a junior.
“I’d like to congratulate all of the teams and affiliates for a great three days of competition, and look forward to coming back to Rockhampton in 2025,” he said.
The 18 Boys Championship division was one of the most hotly contested games on the finals day, with home side Rockhampton going head to head with Gold Coast.
The home field advantage paid off for Rockhampton’s 18 Boys, managing to get a one point win over their south east Queensland rivals.
“It’s pretty special winning at home in Rocky, in front of our families,” said Rockhampton’s Clancy Hohn, who was also named Player of the Final.
“It’s a few of the boys last year as well (playing Junior State Cup), so it’s pretty good to get the win.
“We’ve been training for this since February…every Sunday and Tuesday we come down here for two hours of training, and a few extra sessions leading up to Junior State Cup as well, so it’s good to get the end reward,” he said.
In the 16 Girls Challenge final, Brisbane Metro Touch Association (BMTA) came up against Bundaberg, BMTA the eventual winners, claiming a 5-3 victory.
“We started off really trying to develop, and throughout this carnival we’ve grown so much as a team,” said BMTA’s Ava Lawson.
“We’re looking forward to celebrating our win, we’re pretty happy with it and really thankful to our coaches and supporters as well,” she said.
The 16 Boys Championship grand final went down to the wire, the game between Gold Coast and Rockhampton ending in a drop off.
Visitors Gold Coast managed to dethrone the home side, winning 6-5.
“It feels good and this means everything. Week in, week out the boys come together…some of us live really far away so it’s all paid off for us,” said Gold Coast’s Aza Toki-Mautairi, the 16 Boys Player of the Final.
“It’s good to come all the way here to Rockhampton, eight hour drive, and be taking something back home with us,” he said.
In one of the youngest age groups of the event, the 12 Girls Challenge final saw cross town rivals Gold Coast and Palm Beach battle it out in the final.
After a very tough match up, Palm Beach took the upper hand, taking a 2-0 win in style.
“It feels amazing – all our hard work has gone very far and all the training we’ve done has really paid off to get to this moment,” said Palm Beach’s Kelsey McLaren.
“We’ll be back next year, we’ll be trying our hardest and hopefully we can get another win,” she said.
2023 JUNIOR STATE CUP CHAMPIONS
Under 18 Boys | Rockhampton
Under 18 Girls | BMTA
Under 16 Boys | Gold Coast
Under 16 Girls | BMTA
Under 14 Boys | BMTA
Under 14 Girls | BMTA
Under 12 Boys | Rockhampton
Under 12 Girls |Palm Beach
Under 10 Boys | Palm Beach
Under 10 Girls | Gold Coast
2023 AFFILIATE CHAMPION
THE EGGERS/MOWLES TROPHY – CHAMPION AFFILIATE
Gold Coast Touch Association
BRONWYN & DON HOLLAND TROPHY – MEDIUM AFFILIATE CHAMPION
Ipswich Touch Association
THE CARROLL/ETHERDON TROPHY – SMALL AFFILIATE CHAMPION
Wynnum Manly Touch Association
For full results – click here.