After weeks of hard training the under-12s played in their first tournament at the Shepparton Junior Tournament on December 2 and 3.
The boys played three games on the Saturday and two on the Sunday, with all of them except one being played at home at Tatura Stadium.
The first game against Rochester was an eye-opener for the boys (and parents), going from playing domestic competition to a tournament, but they adapted to the increased pace and intensity to match the opposition, going down 17-24.
They played against teams who had four to five subs (nine to 10 players) with our team only having one sub (six players) on the Saturday and two (seven players) on the Sunday.
All the boys worked extra hard every game, running the game out from start to finish and bringing amazing defence work to each game.
With each game the boys played, the stronger they became. This resulted in some close games — an 11-14 loss to Bendigo, and 6-8 loss to Mansfield.
Although the boys didn’t win a game they only had one large losing margin, to Yarrawonga-Mulwala, who went on to finish runners-up for the section.
The boys’ defence work was amazing and in one of the games they kept the opposition score to only eight points, but unfortunately their own shots just wouldn’t drop when needed.
Overall, all the boys contributed in each game, working well as a team, supporting each other and implementing the game play coach Maddi Rijs gave them.
Rijs has done an outstanding job coaching and working with the boys at training and on the weekend at the tournament.
The boys also competed at Castlemaine Junior Tournament at the weekend.
— Julie Hamilton