NSW U19s v QLD U19s: Standout Performers
NSW U19s prop Jayden Moujalli scored a late try to help NSW U19s fight back from 19-3 down to claim a 29-26 victory over QLD U19s in the opening match of the inaugural U19s National Championships.
We selected a few players that caught our eye in Brisbane on Sunday.
Taj Annan (QLD No.12/Easts)
Big, strong ball carrying No.12 with silky skills and a strong presence in defence. There’s plenty to like about Annan, who also kicks conversions. Annan also featured for the Junior Wallabies earlier this year.
Tom Goddard (NSW No.9/Eastwood)
While his forward pack didn’t always make it easy for him again QLD, NSW No.9 Tom Goddard provided great service and has a quick, clean pass that gave his side plenty of opportunity to attack.
Clem Haloholo (NSW No.6/Sydney Uni)
Haloholo made his Shute Shield debut earlier this year for the eventual premiers in Sydney and looked like a man playing against boys at times. While he’s still not a finished product, the big lock/backrower’s size is enough to be excited about.
Harry McLaughlin-Phillips (QLD No.10/Souths)
Playing up a year after also impressing for the Australian Schools and U18s last week, McLaughlin-Phillips continued the form that saw him named as the Premier Rugby Colt of the Year in Brisbane earlier this year. The classy No.10 even claimed a pilfer, which will likely see him expelled from the “Non-Confrontational No.10s Club.”
Harrison Usher (Bond), Noah Hartley (UQ) & Angus Ward (UQ)
The QLD U19s replacement front row dominated at set-piece time at the backend of the match and looked to have earned their side victory after a string of scrum penalties in the final minutes. No.8 John Bryant, from Souths, also did well to control the ball at the back of a scrum driving forward at a rapid pace.
Jackson Ropata (NSW No.13/Southern Districts)
NSW centre Jackson Ropata continued his rapid rise, scoring a try and producing another impressive performance in the midfield. Ropata is a product of the Sydney U18s pathway, created to give high school aged students who have left school or are working an apprenticeship an opportunity to earn selection in rep teams.