11 September, 2023
Under 16 champions
THE next generation of Mareeba’s rugby league legends have come home victorious, securing the Under 16s grand final against Cairns Brothers 28-22.
Being the Under 16’s first win since 1980, the young boys wrote their names in the history book, making their names known as they head into the senior league in the coming years.
Asserting their dominance on the field early, the young Gladiators took a 16-6 lead in the first half.
Coming in hot, Cayde Miller, Jett Walker, Caylen Hunter, Jake Bombaderi, Chase Sheppard and Bradley Williams showcased their prowess on the field, scoring try after try and Miller acing each conversion.
Coach Chris Sheppard said he couldn’t be prouder of the team's efforts and their all-round performance this season.
“We dominated heavily in the first 10 minutes, and we probably could have been a bit more ahead, we sort of let them back into the game, but then they really knuckled down well at the end to secure the win,” he said.
“This is the first premiership they have ever won. They are a good little team and have worked pretty hard over a number of years, and it’s great to reward them as they finish junior league.
“I couldn’t be prouder of them and their growth on and off the field. It is pretty special and great to see – they deserve their success.”
Sheppard also congratulated FNQRL for putting all the grand finals into a one-day event.
As the season comes to a close, Sheppard and his team will have a well-deserved rest and then begin prepping as they head into