The coach on Friday night, teammate on Saturday. That was the scenario for former international Dale Shearer when three of his Coolum Colts under-18 charges made their C-grade debut, playing alongside him in the Red Rooster Cup last weekend.
With injuries taking their toll, 17-year-old front rower Christy Howell and 18-year-old second rowers Jordan Vaughan and Blake Snow were called in to help the Colts who downed Maroochydore 16-10 at Beachmere.
Shearer, who scored a hat-trick of tries on the day, said it was always the club’s plan to expose the younger players to the “argy bargy of full-blown senior football” and this game was the perfect opportunity.
“I firmly believe the three boys who played are future Colts A grade players and they only reinforced that with their efforts today,” he said.
“Jordan Vaughan played out of position today on the wing and did a great job. He actually got over the line to score but the try was called back as he went into touch in this charge to the line.
“Front rower Christy Howell was great in the engine room. His defence against the men was outstanding and he should have scored also after a great 25-metre bust right through the middle of their forwards but the ball was raked as he went over.
“Then there was Blake Snow who really shone today. Blake has a great set of hands and can read play very well. He has the potential to be a good ball-playing forward.”
Shearer said the club was keen to have an A-grade side next season and the opportunity to blood young players and help them on the field with reading the play and timing their runs was invaluable.
Next week the Colts play Beachmere and would be “blooding” more young players.
Coolum led throughout Saturday’s game though Maroochydore came back late in the second half to take the score from 16-0 to 16-10.
Colts C grade Coach Nathan Ratcliffe said the Colts were going through a rough part of the season with more than their share of injuries but fortunately were still hanging in there and grinding out wins.
“We will have hooker Cory Gray back in a couple of weeks,” Ratcliffe said.
“He has been a big loss as he was the Red Rooster Cup’s leading try scorer before his injury four weeks ago.
“Also to come back are Ryan Carfantan, Jason Gordon and Phil Hunt. All are ex A-grade players and help bolster our attack as we head to the semis, putting us in a good spot to have a shot at the title.”
The coach made special mention of front rower Wes Fleister and second rower Manu Anderson for their performances last Saturday.
Scorers: Dale Shearer, 3 tries. Drew Snow 2 goals.
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