The Queensland state final of the NRL Schoolboys Cup will see two of the state’s best go head-to-head tomorrow (Wednesday, September 12) afternoon, with Palm Beach Currumbin SHS and Kirwan SHS vying for the crown.
Palm Beach Currumbin SHS were convincing semi final winners in their match against Ignatius Park College 38-16; while Kirwan SHS defended their way to victory against a tough Marsden SHS outfit winning 22-16.
Palm Beach Currumbin SHS coach Aaron Zimmerle said his side has used the experience of their school’s past to inspire them during the game beling played at Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park at 2pm.
“For some of our players, Juwan Compain for example, his older brother played in our 2014 Queensland final with Keegan Hipgrave and such, and he tells the story when he was in Grade 9 and saw his brother win a state championship,” Zimmerle said.
“So every year he’s been here at PBC, he’s wanted to do what his brother did,” he said.
“He wanted to be those kids that stand there with the trophy and be proud of their school, representing the 2500 kids and teachers here at PBC.”
Zimmerle also said last year’s quarter-finals loss to Marsden SHS has motivated his side to work harder than ever this year.
“Unfortunately, we got pipped last year 22-20 by Marsden who went onto the Queensland final and the boys said to themselves that they wanted to go further this year, and they’ve trained as hard as any group I’ve been involved with since I’ve been here,” he said.
“They’re (Kirwan SHS) a really big side with their starting pack and bring even bigger kids off the bench, but our focus is more about ourselves and if we play as well as we can play, I’m quietly confident the boys will get the victory.”
However, their opponents Kirwan SHS have their own motivation.
Their coach Todd Wilson said becoming state champions “means a lot to the school and community” and the side will be looking represent their region proudly.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for this group to showcase their skills and represent the North and our school against the best in the state,” he said.
“We were a little disappointed in the way we executed some of our attack against Marsden, and against a quality team in Palm Beach Currumbin; we’re going to have to be a lot better to get points on the board.
“Everyone is going to have to do their job defensively if we’re going to contain the quality attack they’ve got.”
Despite having to travel more than 1300 kilometres for the final, Wilson says it suited them well.
“We’re used to travelling here,” he said. “We’re generally on a bus travelling for a day to get to a game, so we’re used to the travelling and the more time they spend together, the better they are.
“So, we use it to our advantage to make sure our team is close.”
Both teams will be determined to become Queensland Schoolboys Cup champions and go on to face the NSW champions in the national final next week.