It was a big two days in rugby league for St Patrick’s Catholic School as they were declared the winners of the state-wide Steve Renouf Cup Wide Bay semi-final against Gayndah District Schools.
While the match finished in a 14-all draw at Salter Oval, St Pat's took home the trophy as the first try-scorer of the game.
They then snatched an 8-4 victory over fellow Catholic school St Mary’s in the Bundaberg Primary Schools Under-12a grand final with a try in the dying seconds.
Shalom College has also been competing strongly as the first Bundaberg school to contest the Queensland Open Division Aaron Payne Cup and the Year 10 Cowboys Challenge.
Back to the Steve Renouf Cup, and the two sides were level pegging at 6-all after a fiercely contested first half, but St Patrick’s lost their best player Lachlan Rae with a dislocated finger just before the break, and Gayndah District capitalised.
They took control, going ahead 14-6 with 7 minutes to go after a try to dummy-half Chase Ricciardi, of Childers State School, whose father Cameron was one of Bundaberg’s best players over a long and distinguished career, in the 25th minute, and a 50m runaway try to blockbusting second rower Tama Kororiko in the 33rd minute.
But ultimately Gayndah District paid the price for Tama’s successful conversion of his own try being disallowed as he had kicked their first goal, and under Primary Schools Rules, players are not allowed two successful conversions.
Still, down, and seemingly out, St Patrick’s refused to surrender, and they set up a grandstand finish when lock forward Mitchell McInnes forced his way over with just over four minutes remaining, but the conversion attempt was waved away.
Then with eight seconds to go, St Patrick’s dummy-half Zach Wilkinson burrowed through and reached out to ground the ball and level the scores, but while the conversion was again waved away, St Patrick’s were declared the winners after Lachlan Rae had drawn first blood in the first half, but Gayndah District also covered themselves in glory in the way they accepted the verdict despite their disappointment.
Zye Stanley and Tama Kororiko took out thoroughly deserved Player of the Match awards for their respective teams.
Backing up in the BPS Under-12a decider just over 24 hours later on a very cold Thursday night and still without Lachlan Rae, St Mary’s, who had never won the title, served it up to them but after a score-less first 30 minutes, St Patrick’s struck through Mitchell McInnes.
But St Mary’s dug deep and drew level at 4-all with a try to first-receiver Tanner Melein with two minutes to go.
A draw and a shared premiership would have been a fitting result but dummy-half Zye Stanley broke St Mary’s hearts when he forced his way over to seal another 12a premiership for St Patrick’s with the full-time siren imminent.
Zach Wilkinson (St Patrick’s) and Ecian Rapada (St Mary’s) received the Players of the Match awards from former Brisbane Broncos Premiership and State of Origin Player Casey McGuire, who presented all awards on the program.
St Mary’s Cyclones however claimed the under-11b crown with an 18-6 grand final victory over Norville Bulldogs.
St Luke’s Anglican School Lightning took out two age divisions, claiming the Geiger Cup for under- 12b, with Hudson McKenzie notching a double to lead them to a 16-4 win against North State School Eagles.
They also struck in under-10a with first-receiver Locke Evans racking up all their five tries and kicking one goal as they edged out Avoca State School Arrows 26-18.
Norths Eagles also shared in the spoils, defeating St Mary’s Cyclones 26-6 in under-11b, with Jesse Scott featuring with a double, while Norville Bulldogs barked in under-10b, outgunning East State School Water Rats 32-6 with Trillion Smith crossing twice and taking out their Player of the Match.
Bundaberg under-12, 11 and 10 representative teams also completed their annual Sullivan Shield Exchange with Rockhampton with home weekend double-headers, but after nine games with one match in each age group in Rockhampton a fortnight earlier, the Northerners continued their domination of the silverware, winning it for the 33rd time in the 39-year history of the competition by a margin of 8.5 to 0.5.
Bundaberg’s only joy came in under-11, in which they battled out an 18-all draw with Rockhampton on the Saturday but went down 18-12 on the Sunday.
The prestigious Greg Hurst Medal for the Under-10 Player of the Series was again presented in memory of a BPS Icon who tragically passed away in 2008 because of a diabetic condition, and it was taken out by Rockhampton’s Malachi Bellette.
As it was not awarded last year when the Series was cancelled due to Covid-19, a Greg Hurst Medal was also presented this year for Under-11, and Lachlan Rae, of St Patrick’s, was a popular winner.
In the Aaron Payne Cup, after having the first-round bye, Shalom served it up to Rockhampton Grammar at Waves Sports Complex, but after trailing by just two points with two minutes to go, they went down 28-20 with Grammar clinching victory with what Shalom coach Neil Feather said was a lucky try.
Fijian immigrant centre Tumelli Naco, whom Neil described as a “superstar”, picked up two tries, with one each to hooker Patrick Curtis in his first game back from a broken ankle, and captain, five-eighth, and their Man of the Match Zander Kerr, who also kicked 2 goals.
Neil also said barnstorming game Coen Searl “just keeps getting better and better” and was also among their best.
Shalom’s Year 10 team made a perfect start to the Cowboys Challenge under their coach Andrew Filo, white-washing Rockhampton Grammar 38-0, with a double to their Man of the Match, five-eighth Noah Law, single tries to Daniel Cavanagh, Blake Powter, Tom Morcom and Coen Phillips, and Cooper Black kicking five goals.
Blake Powter also had a whale of a game, along with front rower Jack Schmidt.
Both Shalom teams lost their third-round matches to powerhouses St Brendan’s College in Yeppoon last week, with the Opens going down 32-0 and Year 10’s 26-4 after trailing just 8-4 at the break.
Shalom Rugby League Open Coach and Rugby League Doyen Neil Feather said both teams “all competed really well and learnt a lot”.
“For the Firsts, it was a learning experience for the kids, and they took lots away from playing a really good team. It was a shame to be scored against on the siren, but we only had 12 players at the time – Tokoia Tuitoma, Zander Kerr and Coen Searl played well for us,” Neil said.
“Jude Sheppard, Blake Powter and Tom Morcom were Shalom’s best in Year 10.”
Primary school scores
Sunday 23 May: Rockhampton 22 d Bundaberg 0, Bundaberg Player of Match: LeBron. Saturday 5 June: Rockhampton 44 (Ashton Taylor, Fletcher Fogwell, Logan Kane, Vanama Kilaverave 2, Jaxon Pambid, Eli Rauluni, Lockyer Hill tries; Fletcher Fogwell, Ashton Taylor, Cooper Stacpoole, Lockyer Hill, Eli Rauluni, Darins Canham goals) d Bundaberg 0, Players of Match: Fletcher Fogwell (R), Beau Gleeson (B). Sunday 6 June: Rockhampton 22 (Eli Rauluni 2, Vanama Kilaverave, Gullio Sommerville tries; Fletcher Fogwell, Eli Rauluni, Lockyer Hill goals) d Bundaberg 0, Players of Match: Cooper Stacpoole (R), Harrison Candy (B).
Sunday 23 May: Rockhampton 18 d Bundaberg 6, Bundaberg Player of Match: Frankie Cooper. Saturday 5 June: Bundaberg 18 (Ashley Earnshaw, Kobey Walsh, Tomas Delacy tries; Kobey Walsh, Hunter White-Ellacott, Khobi Thomas goals) drew Rockhampton 18 (Levi Williams 2, Grayson Catt tries; Kobe Miller, Jett Fischer, Levi Williams goals), Players of Match: Noah Cauchi (B), Levi Williams (R). Sunday 6 June: Rockhampton 18 (Thor Welfare, Charlie Spyve, Levi Williams tries; Zeke Dendle, Mac Mazzer, Levi Williams goals) d Bundaberg 12 (Hunter White-Ellacott, Lachlan Rae tries; Khobi Thomas, Kobey Walsh goals), Players of Match: Lucas McLean (R), Kobey Walsh (B),
Sunday 23 May: Rockhampton 22 d Bundaberg 0, Bundaberg Player of Match: Slater Maddern. Saturday 5 June: Rockhampton 14 (Jacob Fuller 3 tries; Malachi Bellette goal) d Bundaberg 12 (Coen Gray, Will Svenson tries; Nolan Young, Lockie Evans goals), Players of Match: Jacob Fuller (R), Will Svenson (B). Sunday 6 June: Rockhampton 18 (Caleb Jensen, Jacob Fuller, Finlay Houghton tries; Malachi Bellette, Finlay Houghton, Blake Fuller goals) d Bundaberg 6 (Lockie Evans try; Nolan Young goal), Players of Match: Finlay Houghton (R), Hudson Nathan-Webster (B).
Wide Bay Steve Renouf Cup semi-final
St Patrick’s 14 (Lachlan Rae, Mitchell McInnes, Zach Wilkinson tries; Lachlan Rae goal) drew Gayndah District 14 (Zac Onoprienko, Chase Ricciardi, Tama Kororiko tries; Tama Kororiko goals). Players of the Match: Zye Stanley (SP), Tama Kororiko (GD).
BPSRL Grand finals
12a: St Patrick’s 8 (Mitchell McInnes, Zye Stanley tries) d St Mary’s 4 (Tanner Melein goal. Players of Match: Zach Wilkinson (SP), Ecian Rapada (SM).
12b (Geiger Cup): St Luke’s Lightning 16 (Hudson McKenzie 2, Noah De La Chaise tries; Malachi Iboro, Connor Wright goals) d North Eagles 4 (Beau Moxon try). Players of Match: Hudson McKenzie (SL), Rory Gow (N).
11a: St Mary’s Cyclones 18 (Tamihana Tupaea, Cooper Camac, Lincoln Law tries; Lincoln Law, Ethan Giles, Kurtis Green goals) d Norville Bulldogs 6 (Lachlan Brennan try; Xander Tanner goal). Players of Match: Lincoln Law (SM), Lachlan Brennan (N).
11b: North Eagles 26 (Jakiah Palmby, Jesse Scott 2, Carter Krautner, Brock McCarron tries; Jesse Scott, Dexter Radel, Brock McCarron goals) d St Mary’s Cyclones 6 (Cooper Camac try; Curtin Green goal). Players of Match: Tyler Norval (N), Isaac Redfern (SM).
10a: St Luke’s Lightning 26 (Locke Evans 5 tries; Locke Evans, Jackson McBride, Parker Brockway, Clancy Pratt, Thomas Shulz goals) d Avoca Arrows 18 (Jake Medley, Jacob Marriott, Cooper Wright tries; Jacob Marriott, Cooper Wright, Jake Medley goals). Players of Match: Locke Evans (SL), Jake Medley (A).
10b: Norville Bulldogs 32 (Trillion Smith 2, Ryan Ross, Cooper Kelly, Julius Chapman, George Holzheimer tries; Trillion Smith, Cooper Kelly, Kaylan Nagas, Julius Chapman goals) d East Water Rats 6 (Darby Page try; Jett Locke goal). Players of Match: Trillion Smith (N), Jayden Hall (E).
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