History will be created when Bundaberg school teams compete in the 41st annual Queensland Independent Secondary Schools Rugby League Confraternity Carnival and the 21st annual Queensland Independent Secondary Schools Netball Carnival next week.
The event is hosted by Brisbane’s Iona and St James Colleges respectively, with girls joining the Confraternity fold for the first time and boys to make their QISSN debut.
Shalom College, whose fore-runner Christian Brothers College, inaugurated the Confraternity phenomena back in 1980 and also gave birth to QISSN in 2000, are represented in all four competitions.
A total of 48 teams from throughout the state will contest the Confraternity boys, and Shalom will line up in Division 1 for just the second time after they claimed the Fourth Division Plate when the league showcase was last held, in Bundaberg, two years ago, before both carnivals were cancelled in 2020 due to Covid.
In their three Pool A games, they will take on Marist College Ashgrove at 11.10am Monday, before backing up four hours later against defending Shield champions and perennial heavyweights Ignatius Park College Townsville, then clashing with another Confraternity Foundation school St Augustine’s Cairns on Tuesday morning.
In their lead-up games, Shalom were beaten by Rockhampton Grammar 28-20 and another multiple Shield champion St Brendan’s College Yeppoon 32-0, and coach Neil Feather knows how tough it will be, but he is looking to his captain and five-eighth, Wests A Grader in the Bundaberg Rugby League, Zander Kerr to lead from the front and everyone else to follow.
There are just nine teams in the girls’ competition, and Shalom will play Trinity College Beenleigh and St Patrick’s Mackay on Monday, and Emmaus College Rockhampton and St Joseph’s College on Tuesday in their preliminary games.
Shalom’s girls are coached by former NRL, State of Origin and Test star Antonio Kaufusi, and he has been happy with their preparation, which they rounded off with a fighting 20-8 loss to Rockhampton State High School.
“Rocky High are a tough school – they’ve got heaps of Capras rep players and the girls did all-right – I’m pretty excited – there has been awesome commitment from the girls since they started training at the end of last year,” Antonio said.
“First and foremost, I want them to have fun and represent the school well – it is an unknown, but if we can play well, the sky is the limit, but the first 2 games are important to see where we are at.”
Antonio said their trumps include captain and lock Mikala Lobegeier, halfback Harmonie Fauid, front rower Tia Church, fullback Taylor Driver and hooker Hanahlin Whittard.
“Mikala leads with her actions – she is as tough as nails and is courageous in defence – she runs herself to a stand-still, Harmonie hails from Coconut Islands and is a natural instinct ball player and she is brave as well and will not shirk it – the girls will run at her, but she gets her body in front,” Antonio said.
“Tia is no non-sense – she plays in the middle as front rower – she came into the squad late but she runs the ball really really hard – Taylor is a touch and Oz Tag whiz and I look forward to seeing her in open space – she is a real quick learner, is game-smart, and has speed to burn as well – Hanahlin is a Wide Bay rep and is also as tough as they come, and she is a really important part of the team because she touches the ball more than anyone else in the team.”
Shalom’s Netball girls are in Pool B, with their first match against Clairvaux MacKillop College Mt Gravatt on Monday morning, and they will wind up in Division 1 or 2.
Their coach Kelli Blair said they have been training since the beginning of term 1, and are “well prepared for the carnival and are very keen to get back on court after the carnival was postponed in 2020”.
“Our senior players will be leading the team on and off the court, but particularly Anne-Maree Pohlman, and co-captains Charlotte Boge and Kendal Dodd, who are all playing in their third QISSN carnival,” Kelli said.
“Unfortunately, Evette Land suffered an ankle injury earlier in the term and despite her best efforts to get back on the court, made a mature decision to withdraw from the team which made way for Alani Morely to make her debut.
“Evette will now play a crucial role from the sideline by assisting me as team coach and helping to motivate the girls to keep pushing to achieve their best on the court.
“The girls have just successfully won the Wide Bay region for the Vicki Wilson Cup and will be progressing down to the state finals in Brisbane in early August, which has been a great lead up for the team.
“The girls are hoping to have a few wins at QISSN and make some smart choices while on court and play their own game but most importantly making the Shalom College proud.”
Kylee Johnson is the Shalom boys’ coach after Craig Hammermeister unfortunately suffered a knee injury and requires surgery.
“Craig was instrumental in recruiting the boys and establishing a team for the QISSN carnival. The boys were understandably devastated to learn that he wouldn’t be with them and will be doing their best at QISSN to make him proud,” Kylee said.
There are just four other boys’ teams, St James I and II, Marymount College, and St Columban’s Caboolture, and Kylee expects her side to perform well after a “fantastic lead up to QISSN”.
“We have had 3 months of solid training. Most of our players have never played before but have experience in a range of other sports but the boys won all their games convincingly at the Vicki Wilson carnival earlier this term,” she said.
“Our captains Jak Quinn and Oliver Collins will lead our team down in Brisbane and play a major role on and off the court.
“We have good height in our team with Ben Wood in defence who will hold down our goalkeeper position. We also have a range of speedy mid courters and some real talent in the shooting circle.
“Darcy Cameron is a late inclusion in the side due to another player’s injury in training, but he has been transitioning well from basketball to netball and his shooting skills will be useful the shooting circle.
“We look forward to the challenge of playing against other schools and representing Shalom College. The boys and coaches feel honoured to be the first boys QISSN team and hopefully encourage many others to take up the sport.”
Rugby League – Boys: 1 Mitchell Sly, 2 Ethan Brennan, 3 Brynn Harrap, 4 James Waters, 5 Mark Malau, 6 Zander Evans, 7 Ezekiel Monckton, 8 Wil Simmons, 9 Jack Picaro, 10 Ryan Smith, 11 Coen Searl, 12 Tokoia Tuitoma, 13 Zander Kerr, 14 William Zahn, 15 Ratu Naco, 16 Ilamia Cattell, 17 Lane Crossley-Price, 18 Liam Doyle, 19 Connor Yeats, 20 Patrick Curtis, 21 Jack Frohloff.
Rugby League – Girls: 1 Breanna Ardente, 2 Laney Brooks, 3 Tia Church, 4 Ella Denton, 5 McKenzie Ferguson, 6 Ebonee Garnham, 7 Sarsha Leeson, 8 Mikala Lobegeier, 9 Letila Morris, 10 Emma Nash, 11 Chloe O’Neill, 12 Abbe Shoobridge, 13 Kasey Stone, 14 Isabela Stone, 15 Hanahlin Whittard, 16 Talitha Cattell, 17 Taylor Driver, 18 Harmonie Fauid, 19 Lluana George, 20 Stacey Ruthenberg.
Netball – Girls: Charlotte Boge ©, Anne-Maree Pohlman, Kendal Dodd ©, Holly Kitchen, Evette Land (Assistant Manager), Pelz Kaufusi, Macey Egan, Angel Cory, Annabel Roelofs, Tanika Hartfiel, Alani Morley.
Netball – Boys: Oliver Collins (VC), Jak Quinn ©, Ben Wood, Darcy Cameron, Coen Broadfoot, Michel Smith, Lane Cooney, Brandon Prendergast, Seth Sheppard, Jakob Wardlaw.
After looking invincible early in the season before stumbling to three losses in their past four starts, Wests Panthers will be desperate to get back on track when they take on reigning champions Past Brothers at Salter Oval at 3pm tomorrow when the Bundaberg Broadcasters A Grade Premiership resumes after a one-week break for the five-round run into the finals.
In the late game on the program at 5pm, much is also at stake for both sides in the Waves Tigers-Hervey Bay Seagulls showdown, while at Eskdale Park Maryborough, also at 5pm, Wallaroos will have home ground advantage, but it will be last v first as they come up against the might of the high-flying leaders Easts Magpies.
Wests must win to shore up second position as they are on 12 points, and could be overtaken by Seagulls (11) if they can tame the Tigers, while a Brothers victory would lift them to level points with the Panthers, although they currently have a far inferior for and against differential to them of -38 to +70.
In the Northern Districts League, South Kolan Sharks will host a top-of-the-table blockbuster against Gin Gin Hawks at 2.45pm Sunday in a game which, even with three rounds to go, looms as a dress rehearsal for the grand final.
At 1pm, it will be a bottom of the table shoot-out between premiers Avondale Tigers and the win-less Miriam Vale Magpies.
In the Women’s League Tag, it will be an all-Avondale derby between the Hornets and Tigers at 12 noon.
The Queensland Primary Schools Under-12 AFL Championships were staged in Cairns over four days with Wide Bay teams in the girls’ and boys’ divisions.
The Wide Bay girls won all their fixture games, against Met East 2.2 (14) to 1.8 (14), Met North 6.7 (49) to 2.1 (13), Met West 3.6 (24) to 2.0 (12), South Coast 4.1 (25) to 3.5 (23), Peninsula 8.4 (52) to 0.0 (0), and Capricornia 6.6 (42) to 2.1 (13), but unfortunately went down to South Coast 4.4 (28) to 0.2 (2) in the Grand Final.
AFL Wide Bay’s Mark Mason said it was a “fantastic effort from all involved for our small developing region”.
“This result bodes well for the sustainability of our recently formed Brisbane Lions Youth Girls Academy.
“Bundaberg’s Layla Collins was named Player of the whole Carnival and selected in the Queensland merit team, alongside South Burnett’s Awhena Kororiko, while Audrey Puilingi from Hervey Bay was named Wide Bay's MVP. Mark Pelusi assisted Head Coach Jason Bethune, from Branyan Road State School. Jason is also our Lions Academy Girls Coach.”
The Wide Bay boys drew with Darling Downs 2.5 (17) apiece in their last fixture games, then defeated Crusaders 4.7 (31) to 1.0 (6), before sealing 9th spot with a 1.5 (11) to 1.2 (8) dispatch of Darling Downs.
Adam Chedzey, from Hervey Bay, was Wide Bay's best.
Also in Cairns was the North Queensland v South Queensland annual intrastate Rep game, played as a curtain-raiser to the St Kilda v Adelaide AFL match.
AFL Wide Bay was represented by Matty Schlein (Bay Power) in his third appearance, Damien McRae (Across The Waves Eagles) and Mark Mason as the SQ Team manager.
“Both Wide Bay boys played very well but we unfortunately went down by 2 goals to hand the Shield to North Qld after holding on it for the last four instalments. We had a very young squad that will take a lot out of the experience and put us in good stead for next year. These games are traditionally tight affairs, and this year was no different,” Mark said.
In the AFL Wide Bay Marquis Macadamias Seniors Premiership, both matches of tomorrow’s round will be in Bundaberg, with Brothers Bulldogs to host all conquering Hervey Bay Bombers, and defending champions Across The Waves Eagles to welcome 2019 champions and 2020 beaten grand finalists Bay Power to Frank Coulthard Oval.
More than 300 rowers will converge on Bucca this weekend for the Central Queensland School Rowing Championships.
The annual event will have over 100 local competitors pushing themselves to the limit, in the highly anticipated regatta.
Bundaberg Rowing Club, in conjunction with Rowing Queensland, will host the Championships, with 119 events, starting at 7.15am tomorrow and running through to around 3.10pm on Sunday.
A total of 178 competitors from 25 clubs from throughout South Queensland will battle it out in the 2021 Bundaberg Swim Team Winter Short Course Meet at Bundaberg Swim Academy Fitzgerald Street this weekend.
The Host Club will field a team of 26, but Fraser Coast has the biggest contingent with 39, while Caribeae, of Rockhampton, and Boyne Tannum also have strong representations with 18 and 17, respectively.
Competition will run from 12.30-6.30pm tomorrow and 8am-1pm Sunday.
There is just one Bundaberg Division 1 Men’s match this weekend with the struggling four-times defending champions All Blacks to take on Arrows/Athletics at 6.20pm tonight at Hinkler Park.
Both Division 1 Women’s matches are at their usual Saturday timeslot with premiers and runaway leaders Waves Cities expected to go on their winning ways when they suit up against Rovers/Raiders at 3.10pm, and Arrows/Athletics and All Blacks to go head-to-head at 4.30pm.
After bursting out of the doldrums with a last-start 8-0 whitewash of Doona Villa a fortnight ago, Bingera will have home-ground advantage for their vital clash with Granville tomorrow at 6pm.
There are also 3 matches at Martens Oval at the same time, with joint-leaders Fraser Coast to meet last-placed Diggers, a rejuvenated United Park Eagles (UPE) up against Brothers-Aston Villa after battling out a 2-2 draw when they last met at Brothers earlier in the month, and SC Corinthians taking on Sunbury Blues.
The other joint-leaders Across The Waves (ATW) travel to Hervey Bay to lock horns with KSS Jets.
In the Women’s Premier League, Sunbury Blues will joust with UPE in a top-of-the-table duel at Federation Park Maryborough tonight, while both other games of the round are also in the Heritage City tomorrow, with Granville to battle it out with Bingera, and Tinana opposed to ATW.
Bundaberg galloper Mountain Courage looks set for bigger and better things after notching back-to-back wins, making a one-act affair of the 1030m Open Handicap at Gympie on Saturday.
Ridden by apprentice Isabella Teh, the Darryl Gardiner trained gelding was sent out a hot favourite, paying $1.30, and he gave his rivals a running lesson, crossing the line 7.5 lengths clear of local hope Mahratta.
All Gain also recorded her second straight victory for another Bundaberg trainer Tony Hess in the Benchmark 50 Handicap despite being a $16 outsider.
After taking out a winning treble seven days earlier, Bouldercombe trainer Darren Taylor continued his run of success at this week’s Bundaberg meeting, picking up a double with Barcia Bullet in the Bundaberg Grand Prix Heats, and My Bro Breach in the 4th Grade.
Barcia Bullet, which had won the Free For All last week, used the inside box to full advantage to outgun I’m The Bill, while My Bro Breach took his record at Thabeban Park to 3 wins, 4 seconds, 3 thirds and 1 fourth from 11 starts.
I’m The Bill’s Beachmere trainer Paul McIlveen had won the other Grand Prix Heat with Sunshine Delight, which made it 2 wins from as many outings in the Rum City, edging out Darren’s runner Off Break in a photo finish.
George Clegg, of Mudgeeraba, and Bundaberg Greyhound Racing Club President Ricky Hassall each also achieved dual success on the program, with the former triumphing with track debutants and litter sisters Serenade Me (Maiden) and Viva Belle (5th Grade).
Ricky got the money with Baronga Breeze, which snapped an 8-race losing streak in the Novice Non-Penalty, and Roulette in the Mixed 4th/5th Grade at his first Bundaberg appearance for almost a year after campaigns in Tasmania and Victoria.
Three other District trainers were also among the winners, Allen Kelly with Savuro in the Best 8, Phillip Carter with former Sydneysider Sceptre, which broke through at his sixth run for him in a 5th Grade, and John Kuhn with Elle Koda, which had won at each of her previous three starts at Albion Park, in the Masters 5th Grade.