SPARK: Brandon Clarke breaks away as the Under 18s defeated the Oakey Bears on the weekend.
SPARK: Brandon Clarke breaks away as the Under 18s defeated the Oakey Bears on the weekend. Ann Bichel

Young Hawks still have plenty in tank after perfect start

RUGBY LEAGUE: The Gatton Hawks Under 18s have recorded a perfect start to the 2018 season but coach Josh Belz believes there is still plenty more to come from his young side.

They secured their fifth win in a row on the weekend as they toppled Oakey 38-20 away from home.

Although a brilliant first half had them lead 22-4 at the break, the Hawks went to sleep for the first 20 minutes of the second half to give Oakey a chance to get their noses back into it.

Switching off for periods in the second term, particularly after bullying their opponents in the first, has been a common theme so far this year.

Being at their best for close to a full match, without any lulls in concentration, will be the key for the resurgent 18s.

"I'm pretty happy so far (with the performances this season),” Belz said.

"They're probably still not playing at their best which is the scary thing.

"We seem to keep getting out of jail. They're not playing anywhere near their best.

"Normally our first half is pretty good, then the first half of the second half they go to sleep.”

Gatton are not running away with the competition just yet, as Highfields and Dalby have both won their opening five games as well.

Belz believes the game against fifth-placed Souths on Saturday at Cahill Park will be their biggest test yet.

The visitors will be bolstered by a contingent who were tied up by Western Mustangs commitments.

"This will give us a good indication where we're at,” Belz said.

After several years of misery for the young Hawks, Belz took over as coach last season and took them within a whisker of a finals place.

He had plenty of changes to the squad for 2018, including several players who had made the transition fromLaidley , but they have clicked seamlessly.

"They're like best mates already,” he said.

"They're the future of the club. It's not really important that they're strong, more that they're committed and learning the attributes to become good footy players.”


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