The Rockhampton Grammar School claimed rugby league’s Confraternity Shield with a courageous upset win over Ignatius Park College, Townsville in the final of the 2017 carnival in Brisbane on Friday.
Rockhampton Grammar began the final as outsiders against Ignatius Park, which was trying to defend its title. Ignatius Park and St Brendan’s, Yeppoon had won every Shield final since Padua College claimed the 2005 title.
But Rockhampton Grammar scored two early tries and then held off Ignatius Park’s comeback in an 18-10 victory disrupted by an injury to Rockhampton winger Gerard Moriarty early in the second half.
Moriarty was injured after taking a high ball and had to be taken from the ground in an ambulance. Moriarty was conscious and talking when he left the field and medical staff expected him to make a full recovery.
The 29-minute delay threatened to stall Rockhampton Grammar’s momentum, but the underdogs held steady as centre Riley Comiskey crashed over for his second try in the 46th minute of the 60-minute decider.
The victory stunned Confraternity Shield veterans, who had thought Ignatius Park College were likely defend its title after its impressive 40-0 win over St Patrick’s College, Shorncliffe in the semi-final.
“Our boys were very courageous today – they weren’t as big as Ignatius Park, but they just tackled their hearts out and that won the game for us,” Rockhampton Grammar coach Rod Peckett said.
“We’ve spent the first half of the school year playing rugby union, so it’s been a great effort by this team to get ready for this Carnival. They’re dedicated boys and they train very hard. They deserved this win.”
Rockhampton Grammar rode the energy of a dynamic trio – hooker Lachlan Scarpelli, lock Ben Condon and second-rower Logan Hauff. Condon has been signed by the North Queensland Cowboys while Hauff – a tough-as-nails Blackall product – is contracted to the Canterbury Bulldogs.
This year, 48 teams from around Queensland contested the Catholic schoolboys’ competition, which was first played in 1980.
After the qualifying matches, the teams were sorted into pools of eight to play for the Confraternity Shield, Trophy, Plate, Bowl, Cup and Challenge.
Marymount College, Burleigh Waters, claimed the second-tier Bob Linder Trophy with a 10-7 win over Emmaus College, Rockhampton; while the Confraternity Plate went to Marist College, Emerald with a 20-18 win over Clairvaux Mackillop College, Upper Mount Gravatt.
Condon was named player of the carnival while St Joseph’s College, Toowoomba student Zac Croft – brother of Melbourne Storm rookie Brodie Croft – was the second division player of the carnival. Billy Day, from Mount St Bernard College, Herberton, was named the top player in division three.
The Confraternity Carnival is staged by the Queensland Independent Secondary Schools’ Rugby League with this year’s matches played at Padua College’s playing grounds at Banyo and the neighbouring Australian Catholic University.
Padua College Rector Peter Elmore rated the carnival as a success.
“We said at the start of the week that this Carnival was about spirit, fair play, fellowship and all of the good qualities of sportsmanship,” Mr Elmore said.
“We saw that on display throughout the week. I congratulate all players and team officials for the outstanding way in which they played. We look forward to the 39th Confraternity Shield next year.”
Final Day results
Confraternity Shield Final: The Rockhampton Grammar School 18 d Ignatius Park College, Townsville 10
St Patrick’s College, Mackay 26 d St Patrick’s College, Shorncliffe 4
St Brendan’s College, Yeppoon 30 d The Cathedral College, Rockhampton 18
St Mary’s College, Toowoomba 24 d Padua College, Kedron 16
Confraternity Trophy (Bob Linder Trophy) Final : Marymount College, Burleigh Waters 10 d Emmaus College, Rockhampton 7
St Peter Claver College, Ipswich 24 d Aquinas College, Ashmore 6
Marist College, Ashgrove 40 d St Edmund’s College, Ipswich 0
St Teresa’s College, Abergowrie 40 d St Augustine’s College, Cairns 0
Confraternity Plate Final: Marist College, Emerald 20 d Clairvaux Mackillop College, Upper Mt Gravatt 18
St Michael’s College, Merrimac 40 d St Joseph’s College, Toowoomba 6
Iona College, Wynnum 50 d Blackheath and Thornburgh College, Charters Towers 6
Holy Spirit College, Mackay 20 d Faith Lutheran College, Plainland 18
Confraternity Bowl Final: St Joseph’s College, Stanthorpe / Assumption College, Warwick 24 d All Souls St Gabriel’s School, Charters Towers 22
St Columban’s College, Caboolture 28 d Columba Catholic College, Charters Towers 16
St Mary’s College, Maryborough 58 d St Laurence’s College, South Brisbane 0
St John’s Catholic School, Roma 24 d St Thomas More College, Sunnybank 23
Confraternity Cup Final: Ryan Catholic College, Townsville 30 d Trinity College, Beenleigh 6
Mt Maria College, Mitchelton 14 drew with Chanel College, Gladstone 14
St Mary’s Catholic College, Wooree 24 d St Anthony’s Catholic College, Townsville / Shalom Christian College, Townsville 10
Shalom College, Bundaberg 60 d Gilroy Santa Maria College, Ingham 0
Confraternity Challenge (Men of League Challenge) Final: Emmaus College, Jimboomba 22 d Mount St Bernard College, Herberton 10
Chisholm Catholic College, Cornubia 22 d Xavier Catholic College, Hervey Bay 20
Good Shepherd Catholic College, Mount Isa 18 d Our Lady of the Southern Cross College, Dalby 10
St James’ College, Spring Hill d St Augustine’s College, Augustine Heights 6