The school that delivered Michael Morgan and Valentine Holmes into rugby league’s elite level hopes a new batch of stars can help them reign at the Confraternity Carnival tomorrow against a rival chasing its first touch of schoolboy footy’s most cherished prize.
Townsville’s Ignatius Park College will meet Rockhampton’s Cathedral College in a showdown for the 40th Confraternity Shield after both teams claimed their semi-finals in Bundaberg today.
Ignatius Park stormed through their clash with a brave Padua College, winning 40-4.
They will shoot for their sixth Confraternity Shield, adding to the treble claimed from 2011 to 2013 when Holmes, Coen Hess and Patrick Kaufusi were among their best.
Ignatius Park coach Steve Lansley has kept his team low-key throughout the week and he ensured his players retained their composure as they withstood a howling headwind to lead comfortably at halftime.
Padua College has much to smile about after claiming a top-four berth. They rushed from their school rugby union season into this Carnival – Monday’s first pool match was their maiden league game for this season. But their epic quarter-final comeback against St Brendan’s College – Confraternity’s most successful school – should rank among the finest league moments in Padua’s long history.
The Cathedral College has never won the Shield – they lost in the final five years ago. Their list of former players includes former Broncos coach Anthony Griffin and Broncos CEO Paul White.
Cathedral surged into tomorrow’s decider with a 22-6 win over the emerging Marymount College, Burleigh Waters.
The game turned in the final seconds of the first half when Marymount ignited a length-of-the-field raid sparked by damaging lock Riley Boaza, leading to a try to Zayne Cox that pushed Cathedral College into the lead.
Cathedral College and Ignatius Park met in the Aaron Payne Cup four weeks ago in a match won by the Townsville team but coach Lansley said that result would have no bearing tomorrow.
“You can forget recent form when you come to the Confraternity Carnival because it is such a different atmosphere – these boys play six games across the four playing days so it tests them at every level,” Lansley said.
“We’ve got enormous respect for Cathedral because they’ve shown this week that they’re reallyclicking at Confro. It’s about momentum and they have that. But we know we can still improve.
We’ve only conceded two tries this week but I think our attack is still nowhere near where we’d like it.”
St Patrick’s College, Shorncliffe, has gained quick momentum to move into the final of the second-tier Bob Lindner Trophy against Confraternity powerhouse St Patrick’s College, Mackay.
The Shorncliffe team lost their three pool matches but, under the Carnival system, were able to move into tomorrow’s decider with two fine wins – today’s 18-14 victory over St Augustine’s College, Cairns was full of merit.
The third-tier Confraternity Plate will head back to Brisbane after St Thomas More College, Sunnybank and Clairvaux MacKillop College, Upper Mount Gravatt, won their semi-finals today.
The hosts were rewarded when Shalom College qualified for the Confraternity Bowl final after a hard-fought win today over Beenleigh’s Trinity College. The home team will meet St Columban’s College, Caboolture, tomorrow.
QISSRL president Peter Elmore said the semi-finals were well contested.
“We continue to be proud of the way these young men represent their schools. This Carnival is all about sportsmanship, respect and fellowship and we saw plenty of that today,” Mr Elmore said. “Tomorrow’s finals will be exciting and we wish all teams the best of luck.”
Almost 1000 players are in Bundaberg for the Carnival, returning to the birthplace of a competition that began with only six teams in 1980.
Full results can be found on the Confraternity Shield app: Apple: http://apple.co/2tt17LK
Ignatius Park College, Townsville 40 d Padua College, Kedron 4
The Cathedral College, Rockhampton 22 d Marymount College, Burleigh 6
St Mary’s College, Toowoomba 34 d Marist College, Ashgrove 10
St Brendan’s College, Yeppoon 28 d Rockhampton Grammar School 14
St Patrick’s College, Shorncliffe 18 d St Augustine’s College, Cairns 14
St Patrick’s College, Mackay 22 d Iona College, Lindum 0
Emmaus College, Rockhampton 20 d St Teresa’s College, Abergowrie 12
Aquinas College, Ashmore 22 d St Peter Claver College, Riverview 18
Clairvaux Mackillop College, Upper Mt Gravatt 16 d Marist College, Emerald 14
St Thomas More College, Sunnybank 14 d Columba Catholic College, Charters Towers 6
All Souls St Gabriel’s College, Charters Towers 16 d Blackheath & Thornburgh College, Charters Towers 12
St Laurence’s College, South Brisbane 14 d Faith Lutheran College, Plainland 12
Shalom College, Bundaberg 22 d Trinity College, Beenleigh 8
St Columban’s College, Caboolture 34 d Assumption College, Warwick 8
St Joseph’s College, Toowoomba 14 drew with Ryan Catholic College, Townsville 14 (Ryan advances on countback)
St Edmund’s College, Ipswich 32 d St Michael’s College, Merrimac 0
Holy Spirit College, Mackay 12 d Chanel College, Gladstone 4
Xavier Catholic College, Hervey Bay 16 d St James’ College, Spring Hill / Chisholm Catholic
College, Cornubia 10
Our Lady of the Southern Cross College, Dalby 36 d St John’s College, Roma 0
St Augustine’s College, Springfield 20 d Gilroy Santa Maria College, Ingham 10
Men of League Challenge
Good Shepherd Catholic College, Mount Isa 12 d Unity College, Sunshine Coast 4
St Mary’s College, Maryborough / St Patrick’s College Gympie 30 d Emmaus College, Jimboomba 20
Ambrose Treacy College, Indooroopilly 40 d St Mary’s College, Woree 36
Mt Maria College, Mitchelton 22 d St Anthony’s Catholic College, Townsville 0