Crows need to change the way they fly for better results
CENTRAL Crows' under-16 lock Tom Springate was pushed front and centre ahead of the start of the Cyril Connell Cup.
As the only South Burnett player to make the team, Springate said Kingaroy's TJ O'Neill Oval offered no advantage against Brisbane's formidable Norths Devils on Saturday.
"We were stuffed not having much training," he said.
After the Devils' 48-4 demolition of Crows, Springate said there was still a long way to go in terms of improvement.
"Just with our attack, we're too close on," Springate said.
"And we haven't got our next play sorted."
With players selected from an area which covers Emerald, Gladstone, Roma and the Wide Bay, Tom said it was hard to connect on the field with limited training.
"Because of the distance we can't do anything too complicated," he said.
But, Springate said, when the Crows were on the back foot they turned to the same page.
"Our defence is pretty good, we don't need to improve that," he said.
U16 Crows' coach Chris Munro said his team made marked improvements against Toowoomba Clydesdales on Sunday.
"We got beaten again 34-18 but we certainly improved," Munro said.
"We talked about having a bit of wit and using the width."
With just one training camp held last month, it was evident the Crows were still getting to know each other.
Munro said the game against the Norths Devils had brought to his attention that work on the Crows' attack needed to be done.
"We know we have to improve and we have to improve quickly," Munro said.
Norths Devils' U16 coach Austen Loufe said his team had started training in November.
"Our boys are really fit," Loufe said.
U18 Central Crows v Norths Devils
THE U18 Central Crows dramatically recovered against Toowoomba to turn around from their thrashing the day before.
On Sunday, the Crows held the Toowoomba Clydesdales to a 36-all tie following their 64-6 hammering by the Norths Devils.
Crows' U18 coach Mal McMillan said the 58 point loss was a "reality check".
But McMillan said there were some positives to take away from the trial ahead of the Mal Meninga Cup.
"With a bit more possession in the second half, we went better," McMillan said.
In the second half the Crows were able to hold the Devils off but the damage had already been done.
"Defensively, we've got to be better," McMillan said.
"First one into defence needs to be stronger."
U18 Devils' coach Gavin Allen said he appreciated the lengths to which the Crows had gone to field a team.
"We appreciate the distance these guys have to travel," Allen said. "It's a big effort by their boys.
"(The Norths Devils) can throw a cast net over where our guys are from."
Allen said the Devils were able to get the better of the Crows through their discipline.
"We were controlling the ball in the first half," he said.
South Burnett v Norths Devils
SOUTH Burnett's senior rugby league players got a rude awakening ahead of the season start.
The invitational team was pitched against Brisbane's Norths Devils and left for the slaughter on the field after a 66-6 demolition.
South Burnett's Jayden Jarvis was pulled off the field after about five minutes with a shoulder injury.
"It was a tough game," Jarvis said. "We didn't have much preparation."
With a flood of Devils tries scored in the first half, Jarvis said South Burnett changed its tack in the second half to stem the scoring.
"We were stuffed in the second half but we had a tighter defence," he said.
"I don't think the score board reflected the game."
Despite the big win to the Brisbane team, Norths Devils coach Paul Lowe said he had concerns.
"We were just worried this is their last time they got a run (before the season start)," Lowe said.
Up against last season's premiers the Ipswich Jets, Lowe said they had drawn the short straw.
Under-16 Norths Devils v Central Crows
- Devils won 48-4
Under-18s Norths Devils v Central Crows
- Devils won 64-6
South Burnett v Norths Devils
- Devils won 66-6
Under-16 Central Crows v Toowoomba Clydesdales
- Toowoomba won 34-18
Under-18 Central Crows v Toowoomba Clydesdales
- Crows and Toowoomba drew 36-36