Kirwan shine to claim national honours

Kirwan State High School have claimed the NRL Schoolboys Cup National Final for the second time after coming back from 10-0 down in the first half to defeat Westfield Sport’s High School 16-10 in Sydney.

Kirwan, who showed their attacking prowess was to be feared in the run up to the Queensland Phil Hall Cup final, overcame a strong defensive start from Westfield before scoring a much needed try to end the first half down 10-4.

The visitors were led by an inspirational performance from hooker Adrian Trevilyan, who played earlier this year with the Townsville Blackhawks in the Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup

The Queensland Under 18 Emerging Origin squad member was immense as he aimed up defensively against an imposing Westfields pack, provided exceptional service from dummy-half and scored the game's deciding try.

The 18-year-old received the Peter Sterling Medal for player of the year in the competition.

The player of the match was awarded to Kirwan centre Tyreece Woods.

The past three winners of the prestigious competition award have been Broncos NRL players Tom Dearden, David Fifita and Payne Haas so Trevilyan is in good company.

"A lot of good people came before me and I'm really excited that I got [the medal]," Trevilyan told NRL.com.

He aims to join Dearden, Haas and Fifita in the NRL soon.

"I really hope so, but I've got to keep working hard, keep improving in some areas and I reckon I'll have a real shot. But everyone else does, too," Trevilyan said.

The tough rake is set to push his claims for higher honours with the Blackhawks in their Hastings Deering Colts team to start next year.

Halfback and captain Brad Schneider and second-rower Jeremiah Nanai also impressed for the victors.

An error-riddled second half cruelled western Sydney school Westfields as the diminutive Kirwan side ran them ragged with smooth backline spreads.

Westfields prop Sione Fainu – the brother of Manly NRL hooker Manase – showed why he is rated highly by the Sea Eagles, playing the whole 60 minutes and producing several powerful carries.

After Kirwan were denied the first try due to a forward pass, Westfields struck in the 12th minute with Wests Tigers junior Livai Saukuru the beneficiary of a slick shift to the left wing.

The conversion was missed, but Westfields halfback Gordon Chan Kum Tong - who played hooker in Manly's SG Ball team this year – added another try two sets later, sprinting 20 metres to the line following a brilliant one-on-one steal.

However, Kirwan refused to roll over and responded through a barge-over four-pointer to interchange prop Kaya Anapa.

Westfields survived a frantic ending to the half to carry a 10-4 lead into the break.

Emerging from the sheds fired up and forcing an error in the first set of the second stanza, Kirwan quickly closed the gap as five-eighth Tareq Parter bounced off some would-be tacklers before putting back-rower Isiah Kawane over.

Schneider couldn't land the difficult goal attempt from the sideline, leaving Westfields clinging to a two-point buffer.

But with Westfields struggling to hold the ball, Kirwan made them pay when Trevilyan bagged a try, darting into the in-goal after receiving an offload at close-range.

A Schneider penalty goal with seven minutes remaining stretched Kirwan's lead to a converted try – a margin that proved enough to win the final.

It's the first time in National Schoolboy Cup history that a Queensland school has won the title three years in a row after Keebra Park saluted in 2017 and Palm Beach Currumbin got the job done last year.

Kirwan previously won the competition in 2015, meaning the NRL Schoolboy National Final Trophy returns to Queensland for the fourth time in five seasons.

"We've been working hard all year for this. When the final hooter went, we just went crazy," Trevilyan said.

Player of the final winner: Tyreece Woods (Kirwan)

Player of the tournament - Peter Sterling Medal winner: Adrian Trevilyan (Kirwan)

Much of this report appeared on NRL.com as: Cowboys prospect Trevilyan stars as Kirwan take Schoolboy Cup crown