Gatton Hawks relish All Stars experience
RUGBY LEAGUE: They might have been brought back down to earth at the final whistle, with a last minute try condemning them to defeat, but the blockbuster fixture in Toowoomba on the weekend is one that three Gatton Hawks players would never forget.
Allan Morris, Daniel Marsh and Billy Jackwitz all featured for the TRL All Stars against the South West Queensland Emus at Clive Berghofer Stadium in a curtain-raiser to the NRL trial match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans on Saturday night.
The All Stars thought they might have clinched it after Ty Gardner's four pointer gave his team a 22-18 lead.
But two tries to the Emus, including one in the 80th minute with the scored tied up, sealed it at the death.
Five-eight Corey McGrady had options on his 50 metre line on the final tackle but decided to run with the ball and quickly found Broncos bound Danzel Burns, who zipped past a number of defenders.
The ball fell to the hands of Willie Duncan and he crossed the white line to clinch it.
Jackwitz, who also played in the inaugural fixture between the two rep sides last year alongside Morris, started on the wing before being switched to full-back.
The young flyer said it was a fantastic game to be a part of, amplified by the atmosphere of a big crowd.
"It was a good game, we were in front, then they were in front, it just went back-and-forth. It was pretty close all the way,” Jackwitz said.
"It was anyone's game right up until the end.
"It's only the second time (the TRL All Stars) have played together. I thought the team went pretty well.”
It was a night that would long live in the memory, with a chance to rub shoulders with the NRL stars after the game.
"It was a pretty unreal experience really with that many people (watching),” he said. "It was really good to be a part of something like that.
"(The NRL players) were all downstairs in the dressing room when we went back down there too which was pretty special.”
Having the more experienced Marsh, who pulled on a rep jersey for the first time in close to a decade, and Morris playing alongside him was a reassuring presence.
"They went well when they came in, they went really well,” he said.
"It's good to have a few boys from your own club there... I've played a lot of footy with them.”
South West QLD Emus 28 (Nathan Gaulton, Aaron Hooper, Denzel Burns, Josh Robinson, Willie Duncan tries - Jesse Miles 2, Jarred Lee 2 goals) defeated TRL All Stars 22 (Dylan Chown, Tom Boland, Ben Sullivan, Ty Gardner tries - Matt Duggan 3 goals)