It seems that South Australia has borrowed from the Queensland mantra as the South Australian team named below seems to indicate that South Australia’s everywhere! #Blowtorch
In this team list you can see that 12 of the 20 players are from schools in Rockhampton and Mackay in Queensland as well as Menindee in NSW. Add to that the head coach and trainer are both from Mackay in Queensland and the manager is from Menindee in NSW. Paul Boyce described it on the League Talk Facebook page as an all time low for South Australia. Morgan Jones pointed out that Menindee is geographically closer to Adelaide than it is to Sydney as a tongue in cheek justification for those selections, plus the NRL SA does have an ongoing relationship with the Outback Rugby League competition in NSW.
Tracy Allen defended the selections saying that it was a temporary measure as they simply could not get kids in this age group to play rugby league in South Australia at the moment and they were working hard to build the competition up in order to be able to compete. She pointed out that without the ability to pad the team with players from outside the state 8 local boys would have missed out on the opportunity to compete in the national championships.
James “Sully” Sullivan from 91.3 Sport FM retorted that from a Western Australian perspective he really didn’t care and couldn’t understand the outrage from the “League Talk” community. His stance was that the WA team was going to get a solid game against a quality opposition as opposed to belting a team by 100 points and while they may not win the John Allen Trophy, quality games would do a hell of a lot more for their development over the long term.
As it turned out during the tournament South Australia were unable to win any games, drawing with the Northern Territory, before both Western Australia and Victoria came from behind to beat them. The Northern Territory beat them 20-14 today in their last game of the tournament.
So after a lot of people initially being very fired up about this issue and a general feeling that only South Australian’s should be allowed to represent a South Australian Schoolboys team. The mood softened quite considerably after a period of reflection, with the only remaining frustration being that they still referred to the team as South Australia, rather than an invitational side.