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Mack attack: Nixon hoping to complete perfect season

From thinking the dream was shattered to a last-play field goal... a lot can change in the space of three minutes.

In what can only be described as an avalanche of emotions, the final moments of last fortnight's Aaron Payne Cup decider had St Brendan's College back Mack Nixon mystified as to what had just transpired.

"When the field goal happened, there was just so much happening at one time and yeah... we were too excited to really know what was going on," the Yeppoon boarding school representative said.

Locked at 18-18 against Schoolboy Cup goliaths Kirwan State High School, the challengers conceded a penalty right in front of the posts and thought their hopes of breaking their four-year North Queensland trophy drought were over.

But when the kick went wayward and St Brendan's got the ball back, a field goal attempt from courageous captain Owen Pattie from 35 metres out right on the buzzer saw the Steeden fly through the uprights, slaying the defending champions in an iconic moment that will be hard to forget for a long time.

Nixon in action for Yeppoon Seagulls. Photo: supplied
Nixon in action for Yeppoon Seagulls. Photo: supplied

"Everyone wanted to win the game and we knew what we had to do to win. The week before [against Ignatius Park] in the first 10-15 minutes, we stuck at it and got a lead, so we knew what we had to do again and work hard right from the start," the Year 11 student said.

"So we did that and it was a close game the whole match and then they had a penalty shot right in front of the goal 30 metres out.

"When they were lining up, we all sort of thought it was all over for us, but then they missed it and we had a drop-out and then they knocked it on and we knew it was going to be one of our last chances to get down there.

"We got the call from the sideline to just hold the middle, so we just marched down the field and got the ball to Owen and he kicked the field goal.

"Everyone never thought we were going to go this far, so that’s probably the best part about it... being part of that just makes it even better."

With the rest now history, the green and gold are hoping for their maiden Phil Hall Cup title against South East Queensland juggernauts Palm Beach Currumbin, who kept the Allan Langer Trophy on the top shelf of their trophy cabinet with a 22-18 win over Marsden State High School.

"Their quality and intensity has probably been the same as the last two games we’ve played against Iggy Park and Kirwan," Nixon said.

"They have a few players we need to watch and we’ve talked about them, so we are planning to have the same mindset going there to get an early lead.

"We’ve been watching some videos from them and taken what they can do in a game and put it into a training scenario and worked on that as a team."

Hoping to guide St Brendan's to the state title is Yeppoon old boy and former NRL winger Scott Minto, who Nixon said had been great to play under.

"Everyone loves [playing under him]. There’s a good energy and we’re always having fun," Nixon said.

"Everyone knows when we need to be serious, but he’s good fun to be around and he knows what he’s talking about.

"Other people who he has in our group, they also all know what they’re talking about.

"Everyone really enjoys it and I’ve loved every minute of it."

Having a knack of playing in nail-biting deciders, also being part of the Rockhampton under 17 title-winning victory for the Yeppoon Seagulls earlier in the season, the Central Highlands product was recently selected for the Country team to play early next month in the inaugural Under 17 City v Country clash

Nixon celebrates success in the Rockhampton junior league competition. Photo: supplied
Nixon celebrates success in the Rockhampton junior league competition. Photo: supplied

"I am really keen for that opportunity... just to get down there and meet new people and learn," the Yeppoon Seagulls junior said.

"The experience will be second to none and playing at that higher level will be a step higher than firsts. I’m the younger age [in that grade] so it’s a step up for me, but to play at the next level in the Under 17s will be a great experience."

To complete the perfect season and most importantly, get one up on older brother Will - who made a grand final with Blackwater / Bluff in the Central Highlands under 19 competition before backing it up with a title for Bluff in A Grade - Mack is hoping success comes St Brendan's way.

"I'm really hoping we can get the win so he won't be able to have bragging rights," Nixon said.

The Phil Hall Cup between St Brendan's College and Palm Beach Currumbin kicks off at 3.30pm on Wednesday, September 15, at Moreton Daily Stadium, Redcliffe.