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2018 Under 20s

Minto

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So with the Holden Cup ending, the Cowboys' feeder clubs now have their own under-20s sides who will play in the Hastings Deering Colts competition. For anyone unaware, the HDC runs for 24 rounds (unlike the shorter MM Cup competition), with the Grand Final played at Suncorp on ISC GF day.

Draw - https://www.qrl.com.au/contentassets/0103e2e24a834bc9b7e891ac2262f125/2018-hastings-deering-colts-draw---january-25.pdf

All three feeder clubs get the chance to play at 1300SMILES as a curtain raiser to a Cowboys game during the season.
Round 6, Sat Apr 14 - Northern Pride v Easts Tigers (before Cowboys v Bulldogs)
Round 7, Sat Apr 21 - Mackay Cutters v Redcliffe Dolphins (before Cowboys v Titans)
Round 12, Sat May 25 - Townsville Blackhawks v Western Mustangs (before Cowboys v Storm)

The Cowboys will still have an under-20s squad in 2018. From what I've put together, they'll train together in Townsville and then go to play for their allocated feeder club, like the first grade squad members. The squad below is what the club gave me, so I'm assuming its the complete list.

U20 squad
Jye Anderson
Nathan Barrett
Dylan Bayliss-Brow
Logan Bayliss-Brow
Michael Bell
Ben Condon
Reuben Cotter
Ty Everett
Thomas Gilbert
Wiremu Greig
Peter Hola
Connor Luhan
Sean Mullany
Sam Murphy
Garrett Smith
Jayden Stephens
Murray Taulagi
Kurt Wiltshire

A lot of players from last year's NYC squad with a couple of new faces.

Dylan Bayliss-Brow - Kingaroy junior, who I can't find too much info on.
Michael Bell - Fullback from Moranbah. Played for Mackay in MM Cup. Named in the Qld U18 Emerging Origin squad.
Ben Condon - Another I can't find much on, seems to be from Rockhampton.
Ty Everett - Winger from the Blackhawks MM Cup side. Named in the Qld U18 Emerging Origin squad.
Thomas Gilbert - Second rower. Qld U16 & U18 rep who also played union for Brisbane Grammar School. Named Qld Schoolboys MVP at last year's Schoolboy trials. Named in the Qld U18 Emerging Origin squad.
Garrett Smith - Prop. Qld U16 & U18 rep like Gilbert. Also represented Qld Schoolboys last year. Originally from Mackay. Named in the Qld U18 Emerging Origin squad.

Feel free to add any info/videos if you've got any on the new squad members.
 

paulo_w

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Hmm I have limited knowledge of this, but I cant help but feel the Nrl just dumped our juniors who were working towards the ultimate goal
The junior players would have had no concerns themselves over suicide-that seemed to be the reason said for dumping the league...without going over the numbers id be confident in saying the ratio of footy players suiciding would have been less than males in general public.
They stopped it cause of suicides-wrong
Or stopped it cause nobody watching-Nrls fault-poor promoters of t h e game

Im sad to see the u20s go-i cant talk, should have watched it more...but remember league is also the working mans game-i never heard of an u20s game in free to air, bar grand final game once a year-bit late to spark ppls interest there
 

Cowboy_4_Life

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You realise suicide is just one point at the very end of the mental health scale, its not a binary condition. The organisation spent what they deemed an adequate amount of resources on investigating mental health effects of these young guys across the board, not just those at the extreme end of it, and deemed the pressures faced were too much for still developing minds. Fair enough I say, the sport has evolved immensely from 30 years ago in every aspect (physical requirements, media, general public engagement and scrutiny , commercially) so it stands to reason there will be challenges for the young guys whom mostly transition from being dominant in all physical aspects (and the accolades that come from it within their direct communities) to way back into the middle of the pack once entering professional/commercial systems. To say "The junior players would have had no concerns themselves over suicide" is one of the most ridiculous statements written on here.

Viability of the U20s doesnt come into it. Of course it loses money, it was never meant to stand on its own - its supplementary to the main game and a vehicle to develop the younger players into elite and exciting footy players to eventually move into the NRL and improve the product.
 

paulo_w

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Good post Cowboy 4 Life.
I highly doubt each player was interviewed and a mental health assessment conducted. Limited consultation with the young players.
Yes maybe I was wrong to say the players had no concerns over suicide-like alot of males it was probably something alot of them considered, but that's normal.
I suspect some of the suicides that were experienced in the period of the u20s-unrelated to footy at all. Those psychologists dont have the answer either.
All of these young players are still going to rise up the ladder, the journey for them often starts in u5s etc, with pressure etc steadily increasing each year maybe-they'd adapt to it.
Maybe when they get to the u20s and the Nrl gives them media training and starts telling them no you can't say this, you cant be like that-those kinds of things are more damaging, not helpful, to a young man.
If the u20s were scrapped due to mental health experts concerns-that's wrong.
Probably less opportunity to make it to the Nrl for the u20s now.
 

Cowboy_4_Life

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Probably a decent assumption that every player wasnt individually assessed as part of a study, but I dont think that its unrealistic to assume all players probably filled some kind of survey/questionnaire as part of a wider study. I also expect the NRL would rely heavily on coach and club staff to speak up if they feel any individual may be at higher risk.

I also agree that no-one has the answers, but that only means new things need to be trialled by professionals and organisations to do better. May be that the NRL is going in the completely wrong direction, but that cant be determined until some time has passed - in a way, even things which are wrong ultimately help in finding better solutions. The health industry is built on eliminating possibilities until an answer is found. So my stance is still to praise the NRL for doing something proactively.

But I dont agree that tgere will be less opportunity to the NRL for U20s though, just an extra step to go thru U20 to state to national which is a better progression anyway. They will still need local juniors every year who will have all come thru 20s at some stage. Despite media reports, I dont see a big influx of NFL rejects just yet and these kids have to come from somewhere.
 

paulo_w

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NFL rejects
The Nrl couldnt attract a hooker in a brothel-there wont be any super athletic NFL rejects coming here any time soon.
I assume the pathways to the NFL are more arduous than the U20s and I bet suicide rate amongst players over there is same as general population.
Just the Nrl being reactionary and soft like they always do for everything.
Hard to find very strong leadership
 

Minto

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Cowboys' feeder club HDC squads:

Mackay Cutters
Harry Black, Toby Brice, Ben Brotherson, Luke Campbell, Blake Faull, Harry Green, Darcy Head, Cole Johnstone, Walter Lauenstein, Jaydon Lonergan, Liam Meng, Jayden O'Shannessy, Hayden Page, Will Paki, Leroy Parter, Luke Pearce, Ryan Schill, Cadell Schlenner, Luke Schulte, Maloni Soane, Matthew Vessey, Quintel Wailu, Brendan White, Tom Wilson. Coach: Jim Wilson

Northern Pride
Lorenzo Anso, Lachlan Biondi-Odo, Quinlyn Cannon, Jason Chapman, Joshtel Charlie, Evan Child, Jayden Edwards, Naaman Eustace, Patrick Gallen, Tamati Huirama, Brandon Jackonia, Dillon Jones, Lee Kennedy, Matt Klowss, Sam Kupa, Daniel Lazarus, Lui Lockington, Jaymon Moore, Ewan Moore, Queille Murray, Cade Patrick, Mekere Pun, Mark Rosendale, Ethan Schooner, Elijah Simpson, Steven Stafford, Dion Wales, Charlie Walter. Coach: David Scott.

Townsville Blackhawks
Jack Althaus, Brodie Chaffey, Thomas Conn, Campbell Duffy, Junior Filifili, Lance Folbigg, William Fox, Jack Glossop, Marshall Hudson, Ethan James, Jonte Kennedy, Lindsey Kirk, Lachlan La Rosa, Fred Lemson, Thomas McCagh, Jake Riley, Enemarki Shibasaki, Yaza Stephen, Jayden Stephens, Sam Stopp, Lachlan Taylor, Izaak Toby, Solomon Vasuvulagi. Coach: David Tangata-Toa.
 

Joshpryor87

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Regrettably I am not familiar with any of those coaches.

Will Payney be more involved with the NRL team? Or will he be giving tips to CG to prepare Bassett for the Melbourne Cup TIC :p
 

Minto

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Here's a bit of info on the coaches:

Jim Wilson - former Cutters assistant coach who was the interim head coach for a while in 2016.
David Scott - coached the Pride's Mal Meninga and Cyril Connell Cup sides in the past few years.
David Tangata-Toa - played a couple seasons in the Super League. Coached Penrith's NYC side in 2013 and 2017. Assistant to Kristian Woolf for Tonga at the World Cup.
 

Rudi

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Mackenzie Baker - Townsville boy, lived here since he was 3.
(Insert audible sigh) .. wish he was still we us.
 

Minto

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Cowboys contracted Northern Pride player Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow has been selected for the Queensland side for the Aus Schoolboys trials in July.

Three Blackhawks U18s (Vaughn Kim, Malachi Retchford & Adrian Trevilyan) were also chosen, though I don't know if they're contracted to us. I believe all 3 go to Kirwan. Also unsure if any of the Brisbane/Gold Coast boys are with us.

Edit/update - Vaughn Kim is the only other player contracted us.

 
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Minto

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Mr 100 per cent: Tom Gilbert
Wayne Heming
Tue 5 Jun 2018, 10:05 PM

There's an old saying that sometimes it's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog that really counts.

Brisbane-born teenager Tom Gilbert may not have heard Mark Twain's quote before but it is something that sums him up well as he embarks on his path to playing NRL for the Queensland Cowboys.

At just 80kg, Gilbert concedes considerable size to his rivals, who, like him, are still growing.

I'm happy not to be the biggest guy on the field.

Tonight, in the Under 18s interstate curtain-raiser to the State of Origin clash at Melbourne's iconic MCG, Gilbert will have to chop down players more than 20kg heavier.

He loves the challenge but the Cowboys are keen for him to pack on more weight next season in his bid to play NRL.

That's not an invitation for him to pig out on Maccas, KFC and pizza, but it's a loud and clear message the club and coach Paul Green want him to fill out his frame more in readiness for the next step of his budding career.

"They want me to be 94 or 95 kilos next season," he told QRL Media.

"I'm not worried about, it's just gaining weight.

"They're happy with how I am now, I am coming back from a shoulder reconstruction last August.

"They've been focusing on getting my shoulder right and getting me back to fitness.

"I'm happy not to be the biggest guy on the field."

THURSTON INSPIRES
Watching Cowboys star Johnathan Thurston, who is not overly big, take on the line and take the hits is inspiring to Gilbert.

"He (JT) is only about 80kg. When he gets hit, he is up for the next play. He just worries about doing stuff for his teammates and getting the job done," Gilbert said.

"Even when he cops a late hit, he still gets up and doesn't complain, he just keeps playing.

"I remember a semi-final against Brisbane when he got whacked by Josh McGuire.

"He hurt his ribs and he looked like he was going to throw up but he just got up and kicked a drop goal.

"He didn't do it for himself, he did it for his team."

CONTROLLED AGGRESSION
Gilbert's laid-back temperament is well suited to the slower chilled-out lifestyle of Townsville.

But he is anything but slow, calm and relaxed on the football field.

"I use my aggression on the field to motivate me and fire me up but I know I have to control it," he said.

"You want to keep your discipline under control and manage your aggression and use it to your advantage."
FIND SOMETHING EXTRA
Gilbert has previously pulled on the maroon jumper in the Under 16s in 2016 and again for the Under 18s last year.

"When you play a club game you are chilled and relaxed but when you step up to these rep games there's much more intrigue and you have butterflies in your stomach all day before the game," he said.

"It's exciting, you embrace it more every time you pull on the maroon jumper and represent the people of Queensland.

"You have to find something extra inside you because the game is just so much quicker."

COWBOYS DREAM
Gilbert said he'd had the opportunity to do a couple of opposed sessions with the Cowboys NRL squad which had opened his eyes.

"Just to be around Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott, those guys, it puts things into reality to how they train and prepare.

"I'm hoping to make it with the Cowboys and right now is about getting myself physically prepared to push for a spot.

"I've got all the right people up there to help me make it."

Gilbert's first memories of Origin still makes him laugh.

"My whole family were mad Queensland fans when I was growing up. I still remember my first game watching Darren Lockyer run out in those old Queensland jerseys when I was about six.

"I was excited all day.

I fell asleep just when they kicked off because I was so tired and pumped all day

"It was a free dress day at school, so I wore my Queensland gear.

"I came home all excited and mum had cooked a good feed.

"The whole family sat around the TV to watch the big game but I fell asleep just when they kicked off because I was so tired and pumped all day."

IGNITING THE FIRE
Gilbert's first live experience of Origin - the 100th game at Suncorp Stadium in 2014 – went much better and left a significant impact on him.

"I remember the pre-game atmosphere and the game, it ignited a bit of a fire in me to be the best player I could possibly be," said Gilbert.

"I wasn't necessarily thinking I would play Origin but it made we want to be the best player I could be and be happy with that.

"When I come off the field and I feel disappointed, I know it's because I didn't give 100 per cent.

"I don't like that feeling.

"I don't even like it at training because you know mentally that you've catted it, not just to yourself but to your family, they're the ones who believe in you and have invested the time and money in you so you feel you have cheated them if you don't give it 100 per cent."

FIGHT IN THE DOG
If you are looking for Gilbert in Wednesday night's game, look for one of smallest kids who keeps knocking bigger guys down and who keeps getting up and giving it his all.

https://www.qrl.com.au/news/20182/06/05/mr-100-per-cent-tom-gilbert/
 
Ben Condon has been also added to the Qld U18 squad as 19th man.
 

Minto

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Logan Bayliss scored his first try of the season in Townsville's win over Ipswich. It looks like Tom Gilbert is coming along nicely, according to the Cowboys site he ran for 218 metres and had five tackle breaks and 24 tackles in their win last week,

Garrett Smith and Michael Bell both scored tries in Mackay's win over Easts.
 

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Iknow its very early days but here in nz you have a 15 year old whose attended some cowboys training schemes here in nz and scored all the gears lol...hes the size of jase as a 17 year old ..get him on board he is a wrecking machine and would love to see him kick on...
 

Minto

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Some U20 stats from the club site:

Pride
Wiremu Greig continued his stellar run of form last weekend. The Pride prop scored his third try of the season on his way to a five-tackle break, 99 metre performance.

Cutters
Under 18s Queensland State of Origin rising star Garrett Smith hasn't missed a beat since stepping up to the under 20s. Smith scored his first try in the competition in Round 19 on his way to running for 107 metres and 30 tackles.

Blackhawks
Another Queensland under 18s rep, Tom Gilbert is quickly forging himself a fearsome reputation in the under 20s. In Round 18 Gilbert ran for a mammoth 218 metres, which amazingly came without a line-break.
 

Minto

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Wiremu Greig scored a try in the Pride's huge 66-6 win over the Falcons.
 

Minto

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Was given some HDC stats today and they back up my belief that Tom Gilbert is in fact a gun. In his 10 games so far this year:

14.8 runs per game (most in the comp), 155.8 metres per game (most in the comp), 64.6 post contact metres per game (most in the comp), 25.5 tackles per game (top 15).

Actually, most of our U20 forwards are doing well this year (stats per game):

Jye Andersen: 112.6m, 41.2 post contact, 26.5 tackles, 3 tackle breaks
Logan Bayliss: 104.1m, 42.1 post contact, 2.93 tackle breaks
Wiremu Greig: 121.4m, 47.2 post contact, 3.1 tackle breaks
Peter Hola: 116.2m, 47.4 post contact, 20.7 tackles, 3.1 tackle breaks, 1.8 offloads
Connor Luhan: 101.3m, 36.4 post contact, 1.3 offload

Also, Cutters fullback Michael Bell averaging 4.5 tackle breaks from his 4 games, Blackhawks hooker Sean Mullany averaging the 5th most tackles with 28 per game and Cutters hooker Sam Murphy not far behind in 10th with 26.8 per game.
 
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