From the tournament’s 120 players, 23 were hand-picked by the SUNS Academy coaching team to form the squad, with Cairns Lions and Cape York Crusaders players making up more than half of the numbers.
Five teams — Cairns, Cape York, Capricornia, Mackay and Townsville — took part in the three-day tournament, with hosts Townsville claiming first place for the first time in over a decade.
Townsville’s triumph broke a 12-year stronghold of Cairns and Cape York sides at the Championships, who had won the event every year since 2007.
The Lions 4.4 (28) defeated the Crusaders 3.1 (19) in the weekend’s Far North derby, with the highlight of the match coming before the bounce as the Crusaders performed a traditional war cry and both teams came together in a show of respect.
The U16 SUNS North Queensland Academy team will undergo further training and an Academy Zone Championship incorporating a South Pacific Squad in May.