22 September, 2022

Under 18s determined for victory

The Atherton Senior Roosters Under 18 side head to Barlow Park on Saturday looking to break a 18-year-old drought on premiership CDRL titles which was last won by the club back in 2004.

Roosters Under 18 captain Aiden Carson is ready to lead his side into Saturday’s grand final
Roosters Under 18 captain Aiden Carson is ready to lead his side into Saturday’s grand final

On Saturday, the Roosters meet minor premiers Kangaroos who they defeated in the major semi two weeks ago on their way to booking a spot in the grand final. Kangaroos downed Ivanhoes in last Sunday’s preliminary final and now return for another match up with the Roosters.

The 2022 Roosters side has players drawn from all four Eacham junior clubs which includes Ravenshoe, Herberton, Malanda and Atherton which highlights local talent from across the Tablelands.

After leading the competition through to the half way mark, the young Roosters went off the pace in the later stages of the season but to their credit they have returned to form for the business end of the year.

Several players in this year’s side were part of the 2021 Roosters Under 18 team which fell one game short of the grand final.

The Atherton Senior Roosters joined the CDRL competition in 1980 and have won three of their eight Under 18 grand final appearances during those 42 years.

Coach Gary Benson and captain Dallas Johnson steered the Roosters to their first trophy in 1999 which was 19 years in the making.

Coach James Crawford and captain Calvin Freeman fronted the 2002 title win while the 2004 premiership winning coach was Rob White and captained by Anthony Ball.

Captain Aiden Carson and coach Ben Fahlstrom lead the Roosters into this Saturday’s grand final which completes the Atherton Senior Roosters 104th season.

Coach reflects on season run

HEADING into their final face off for 2022, the Atherton Roosters U18s are preparing to cap off an incredible season of top-notch rugby league in the CDRL with their grand final this weekend.

The Roosters begun the season strong, blitzing through the competition and beginning a long winning streak which helped them establish themselves as a force to be reckoned with.

It would end up being the Kangaroos who put a stop to the Roosters 14-game winning streak, but the Roosters ended up getting revenge when they beat the Kangaroos in the second round of the elimination finals.

The Roosters got the chance to sit out last week-end’s round and let the boys get some rest before the grand final this weekend.

The Roosters have been waiting since Round one of this year’s season to play in the finals and according to coach Ben Falhstrom, the boys are still raring to go.

“I am over the moon with how the boys went so far this season,” he said.

“We just took our season one game at a time, we kept it simple and the boys have just followed.

“At the start of the year when I took this on, I knew we had a good squad, it was just about how far we were going to take it.”

After a stunning performance at the beginning of the season, the Roosters had a rough patch late in the season, losing several games before beginning of the finals.

Falhstrom put it down to player injuries and not having their best players on the field as some of them had to step up to the higher grades in either Reserves or A Grade to replace missing players.

“Out of the last six games we have played we have lost the last four and I just put that down to rolling through the motions,” he said.

“We had a few injuries and we went through our whole squad, we have a squad of about 26 and every one of them took part in a game this year.

“At the back end of the season, our higher grades were short and we had five or six boys each week playing Reserves or A Grade.”


This Saturday 24 September at Barlow Park, Cairns

  • 12noon: Woman – Kangaroos vs Edmonton

  • 2pm: Under 18 – Atherton vs Kangaroos

  • 4pm: Reserve Grade – Brothers vs Innisfail

  • 6pm: First Grade – Mossman vs Brothers


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