Van Der Poel Guides Warriors Shield Success

Wattles captain Ty Gardner accepts the Dan Ryan Memorial Shield for 2024 from Brothers club stalwart Mark Barrett and Ryan family members Chris Ryan, Matt Ryan and Mrs Linda Ryan at Toowoomba’s Glenholme Park on Sunday.

By Glyn Rees

Wattles Warriors workaholic lock forward Nick Van Der Poel ran in a sensational hat-trick of tries on Sunday afternoon at Toowoomba’s Glenholme Park, as the visitors cruised to a 50 – 8 victory over the Brothers Leprechauns in their Toowoomba Rugby League A grade game.

The one-sided result secured the prestigious Dan Ryan Memorial Shield and two valuable premiership points.

Van der Poel is among Wattles’ coach Travis Burns most consistent doers, week in week out.

The courageous back-rower emerged from Wattles juniors before stepping up to an A Grade debut in 2018.

The 2019 season saw the then young centre gain selection in the Central Division Regional Queensland Under 20 side caping off an inspiring season, before playing a significant role in the Warriors 2022 TRL premiership win a couple of seasons later.

Coming in to round four, Brothers were striving to add to their single success against Southern Suburbs back in their season opener, and certainly put it to the Warriors who never had it all their own way in the early stages of the feature clash on Sunday and after 40 minutes Wattles led 12-8.

It was Wattles back-rowers Van Der Poel and Tyson Stevens who ran in those first half green and gold tries, and while Brothers centre Riley Wockner and second-rower Simione Ata levelled the touchdown ledger, two Brayden Paix conversions allowed the Warriors their two-point lead.

Brothers never bothered the scoreboard attendant again and when Van Der Poel crossed for his second four-pointer early in the second stanza it opened a seven try floodgate through a column of try scorers including a third by Van Der Poel, a double by Tom Hatch, centre Andrew Richardson, Brayden Paix and in-form winger Mitch Bourke for the Warriors to gallop home to victory, and escort the Dan Ryan Memorial Shield back to Clifton for a seventh consecutive season.

Wattles took the field without star duo of halfback Matt Duggan and injured fullback Jackson Green, while concerns abound regarding skipper Ty Gardner leaving the field after 25 minutes with a leg injury.

The green and gold player line-up was further upset when bench hooker/half Ryan Stevens also suffered an injury shortened match.

Wattles backs half Brayden Paix, centre Matt Christensen and fullback Joe Willett also shone in a sterling Warriors performance, as did busy hooker Tom Hatch.

Brothers were reduced to twelve for the final 23 minutes after bench player Phillip Waters was sent-off.

The win over Brothers has Wattles on the Hutchinson Builders A Grade premiership ladder, trailing the undefeated Warwick Cowboys and the Gatton Hawks.

The Hawks and the Warriors play off this Sunday at Gatton’s Cahill Park in a vital contest for both.

Wattles 50 (Nick Van Der Poel 3, Tom Hatch 2, Andrew Richardson, Tyson Stevens, Brayden Paix, Mitch Bourke tries; Brayden Paix 7 goals)

Brothers 8 (Riley, Wockner, Simione Ata tries)

Reserve Grade

Wattles 62 (Tim Exelby 2, Aiden Suhan, Dan Rub, Tom Morris, Zac Stevens, Jordan Henry, Tom Duggan, Garth Lonergan, Paul Christensen, Damien McDonald tries; Tom Morris 8, Alex Morris goals)

Brothers 12 (Tremaine Withers, Paul Hinch tries; Hayden Campbell 2 goals).

Under 19

Wattles 24 (Jack Phelan, McCabe Miller, Jack Wright, Bryce Stewart tries: Koby De Luca 3, Bryce Stewart goals)

Brothers 12 (Sam Sheppard, Dane Nilsson, Jackson Bell tries).

Match Program Sunday 5 May, Cahill Park, Gatton.

Wattles Warriors v Gatton Hawks

Under 19 – 11.30 am

Reserve Grade – 1.00 pm

A Grade – 2.30 pm