GREATER Northern Under 16s came through the weekend’s Country Championships in Wollongong successful and unscathed.
The Gary Jones-coached GN side beat Southern Stingrays 30-16 in Saturday’s first-round clash and then accounted for East Coast Dolphins 28-6 yesterday.
With Armidale’s Phil Quinlan leading the way yesterday, the side earned a Country Championship Under 16 Final berth for the second successive season.
GN assistant coach Mark Wilton said the side’s completion rate was outstanding in the first half of yesterday’s semi-final.
“About 90 per cent,” Wilton said.
“So we started well.”
Quinlan, man of the match and the GN players’ player award winner, was backed up by strong efforts from Tamworth’s Harrison Buhler and Kyden Howard.
Jones was ecstatic.
“That’s a real good win.
“Big Phil Quinlan dominated up the middle and was the best player on the field.
“Jake Parker (Muswellbrook) also had a big game at five-eighth but it was a real big team effort.
“We’re real happy now, especially after the 18s scored on the bell to win.
“Now we just need the seniors to win their semi at Wyong next weekend.
“We also came through unscathed without any injuries today so we’ll have every one on deck as long as they get through club games this weekend.”
The Tiger 16s began their weekend with a 30-16 win over Southern Stingrays that was highlighted by an enthusiastic start.
“We did get away to a good start,” Jones said of that first- round game.
“The Stingrays did get back to within 10 but that was on the back of four penalties.”
He thought Kyden Howard was outstanding, the young lock from Singleton taking the side forward with some strong carries.
Armidale’s Phillip Quinlan and Farrer’s Hayden Loughrey also excelled along with Muswellbrook’s Brad Collett.
“I thought Brad changed the game a couple of times with his good dummy-half runs and a couple of long-range tries.
“He scored the first and set up the last for us.”