Keebra Park High School will be looking for redemption in the 2017 edition of the GIO Cup National Final tomorrow (Wednesday, September 6) when they take on Westfields Sports High at Leichhardt Oval, Concord at 12noon.
The two sides clashed in last year’s decider with the latter coming out victorious with a two-point win, thanks to a try in the dying seconds of the match.
This year, both sides have experienced substantially different paths to the final.
The displays which saw Keebra Park score 144 unanswered points between the quarter and semi-final were nothing short of remarkable. It wasn’t as smooth sailing in the Queensland Final however, with the game against Marsden SHS very much in the balance for a large majority of the first half before they were able to close the game out in the back end.
Westfields campaign was nearly over before it began, having trailed the highly fancied Patrician Brothers, Blacktown side by 18-0 before mounting a sensational comeback to steal the Southern Conference Quarter Final by eight points after scoring 26 unanswered points in the second half.
The Westfields side would again cause heartbreak on The Hills Sports High in the Southern Conference (NSW/ACT/VIC) final, after defeating them by a field goal in 2016, this season would see them triumph by the margin of a converted try.
Travelling down to enemy territory is nothing new for Keebra Park. This year will see them competing in an extraordinary seventh National Final in just the past 13 years; while Westfields Sports are on the other end of the spectrum in terms of National Final experience, having only entered their maiden GIO Cup final in 2016.
Striking at one from one when it comes to silverware on grand final day, the school from the Western Suburbs of Sydney will be hoping to keep their unblemished record in tact come tomorrow afternoon.
The Gold Coast side, which boasts a number of players backing up from last year’s heartbreak, will have other ideas and will hope they can go one better than 2016.
Follow the live scores on the NRL Schoolboys Cup Facebook page --> NRL Schoolboy Cup
The game will be telecast on FOX during NRL grand final weekend (check your local guides).
Download the match day programme (with team lists) here --> 2017 National Final