Another Junior Rep campaign has come to an end and what a campaign it was for our Junior Boys and Girls teams in 2024.

We travelled to Dubbo for our second Northern Conference and were again met with superb playing fields and sunshine…a little too much sunshine but considering Port Macquarie had torrential rain over the last 2 weeks we must consider the move to Dubbo a clear winner.

Our teams took to the altered playing conditions on Day 1 with vigour, moving through the rounds with some impressive victories. These continued on Day 2 with all teams bar one progressing to finals day on Sunday in good positions despite a couple of broken bones, a bad case of tonsillitis and some other niggling injuries being managed by our Motus physios.

Finals day is always hectic, with teams checking in on each other to find out whether they are still progressing through after each round. With 9 teams in the U18 Boys competition, there were no Quarter Finals, so only the top 4 progressing through to Semi Finals. With our 18s sitting in 5th position they did not progress through.

After winning their Round of 16 match, our 12 Girls were knocked out in the Quarter Finals 2 tries to 1 against Nelson Bay.

As we moved to the Semi Finals rounds, our 10 Boys and 10 Girls came up against some tough opposition in our neighbours the Northern Beaches Renegades, whilst our 16 Girls lost by 1 try and despite both teams scoring 3 tries a piece in the 12 Boys Semi Final, our boys scored second so the dreaded 3-2 scoring system saw their campaign come to an end.

This left only the Grand Final matches to be played, with 4 of our teams earning the right to challenge for the Conference Champions title. Our 14 Girls took to the Stadium first, but unfortunately went down by 2 tries in a hard fought match. Our 14 Boys, 16 Boys and 18 Girls had us all on the edge of our seats – with the 14 Boys convincing winners 5 tries to 3, the 16 Boys coming from behind to win 5 tries to 4, and the 18 Girls lifting their tempo for a 6 tries to 2 win over Nelson Bay – all three teams crowned 2024 JSC Northern Conference Champions!

After the trip back from Dubbo and a quick 6 day turnaround our 14 Boys, 16 Boys and 18 Girls took to the fields at the home of NSWTA in Tempe to compete against the winners of the JSC Southern Conference in the State Finals, in a best of three match format. Conditions were extremely hot, and all three teams were forced to play three matches, as consecutive victories in games 1 and 2 alluded each team.

The 14 Boys were the first to play their deciding third match out on field 1 and grew from their victory in game 2 to take the State Final 11-8. Impressive attacking middle play coupled with some long balls that had the sideline on their feet, made for a fantastic final.

It was then into the Stadium to watch the 16 Boys who quite literally won the match after the bell with a last ditch play. The game will no doubt go down in touch football history as one of the best junior finals – if you missed it check out the replay on KayoSports, you won’t be disappointed. The end result was a 6-5 victory to our Manly boys.

Finally, the 18 Girls took to the Stadium in their third and final match against the Penrith Panthers. After taking an early lead 7-2 our Manly girls looked poised to take out the match but the Panthers had other ideas and hit back with 4 unanswered tries to take the title of 18 Girls Champions, 10-7. A heartbreaking loss for the 18s but a memorable campaign to reach the State Finals considering the team was made up of several players that had never played rep touch football before and we were still pulling in players as late as a week out from the Northern Conference due to injury.

Manly Touch finished second overall in the Club Championship at JSC Northern Conference and secured two State Champions titles with the U14 and U16 Boys victories – a fantastic result for the club.

Manly Touch is extremely proud of all our players and their performances across this 2024 Junior Representative Campaign. We also appreciate the efforts of all our coaches and officials, without whom we would not be able to achieve such amazing results or give our players the opportunity to hone their talents and improve their skills. To our referees we thank you for being such an invaluable part of our rep campaign, all the time and effort given to attend training matches, gala days and finally JSC, is so appreciated. And to the parents and families of our talented junior players, you help make the Manly Family the truly unique and special club that it is.

We’d also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the following award recipients:

U10 Boys
Best and Fairest: Edward Gillett
Coaches Award: Blake Creelman
Players Player: Hudson McGregor

U10 Girls
Best and Fairest: Matilda Hollingsworth
Coaches Award: Georgie Rich
Players Player: Blythe Grayson-March

U12 Boys
Best and Fairest: Ryder Grierson
Coaches Award: Finn Ikin
Players Player: Will Jennings

U12 Girls
Best and Fairest: Amarlea Tonga
Coaches Award: Edwina Seve
Players Player: Sydney Kaivelata

U12 Girls Development
Best and Fairest: Valerie Pickup
Coaches Award: Sunny Rose-Watts
Players Player: Sophie MacPherson

U14 Boys
Best and Fairest: Cooper Everleigh
Coaches Award: Ariki Whongi
Players Player: Lucas Locke

U14 Girls
Best and Fairest: Ellie Fairall
Coaches Award: Matilda Whitehead
Players Player: Ellie Fairall

U16 Boys
Best and Fairest: Lucas Hickson
Coaches Award: Finlay Benbow
Players Player: Saxon Gaw

U16 Girls
Best and Fairest: Talea Tonga
Coaches Award: Lizzy Bromiley & Keira Gray
Players Player: Coco Marsters

U18 Boys
Best and Fairest: Xavier Walsh
Coaches Award: Ethan Hammond
Players Player: Xavier Walsh

U18 Girls
Best and Fairest: Alyssa Medved
Coaches Award: Sophie Bishop
Players Player: Amelie Taudien

Check out some great photos from our JSC 2024 campaign here.