Schoolboy Cup Rnd 2 Endeavour and Hills get it on at Shark Park
Author : Jocelyn Airth Daily Telegraph
NRL Schoolboy Cup: New Zealand sensation Cassius Tia ready to light up for Hills SHS
Cassius Tia moved over 2150km to play for the Sydney Roosters’ Harold Matts side. Now, he’s turned his attention to the NRL Schoolboy Cup as his Hills SHS take on Endeavour High.
Cassius Tia will do anything to achieve his rugby league dream.
Even pack his bags and move from Auckland to Sydney to make a name for himself with the Sydney Roosters’ Harold Matthews Cup side.
Now, the 16-year-old playmaker has a new goal – to win the NRL Schoolboy Cup alongside his classmates at The Hills Sports High School.
The form of Cassius Tia will be key for Hills SHS.
“He’s very strong when he runs the ball, he just attracts defenders … he’s a bigger body so he needs two people to commit to him. When he makes that happen, holes open up everywhere,” Hills’ strength and conditioning coach Bronson Harrison said.
“He’s still finding his feet in our structure, we are making sure he feels comfortable enough to express himself in our structures.”
Harrison praised Tia’s maturity and commitment – the teen relocated 2155km is now living with his aunt in Sydney.
“It’s not the easiest thing to leave your family and go out on your own in western Sydney,” Harrison said.
“He’s lucky to be part of that Roosters system, they’ve given him that time. The school is grateful that they trust us to make sure that we manage him the right way.”
Hills will be out to make up for their round one defeat..
Tia played for New Zealand’s under 16s Residents side in 2020 and is currently contracted to the Roosters. The youngster hails from Sonny Bill Williams’ old club, the Marist Saints.
He will join Panthers star Tylor Bunting in the halves for Hills’ Round 2 clash against Endeavour.
“They’ll be a terrific pairing, the more games we get under our belt, the better they’ll be,” Harrison said.
“They’re still sensing each other out, they’ve come off the back of a Harold Matts season playing against each other … This second round will really give us an opportunity to build that connection.
“Come finals time, I don’t think there’s a team that we can’t beat on our day.”Endeavour will hit the field with confidence, having beaten reigning champions Patrician Brothers Blacktown in Round 1.
While Hills are determined to bounce back after their own Round 1 loss, Harrison said the team has had an exceptionally tough week mourning the loss of a classmate.
“The school is in mourning, we lost someone last week, so we will probably go in a little bit undone,” Harrison said.
“But I don’t think the boys will have a problem getting up for the game. They love their footy, they look forward to these challenges.”
Harrison played 197 NRL games and 12 Test matches for New Zealand. Three years ago, he linked up with Hills’ coaching staff to fit out the school gym and implement strength and conditioning programs for players.
The Hills SHS coaching team are confident of victory.
“I love building connections with the kids, watching them learn, getting to know them,” Harrison said.
“Out at Hills, it can be a rougher demographic, they don’t all have the same support as many other schools. They do it a bit tough. When they turn up to school and they love being there … it’s nice to see them smiling.
“We try to keep them accountable, the school is really strict on keeping the footy program accountable. Making sure of that, because if you don’t get your assignments done, you can’t play.”
The big showdown at Shark Park could feature eight rising stars who recently earned selection in NSW CHS Opens side – Blake Metcalfe (Hills), Markis Atoa (Hills), Luron Patea (Hills), Kyron Fekitoa (Endeavour), Iverson Matai (Endeavour), Junior Tapau (Endeavour), Lajuan Vito (Endeavour) and Luke Raymond (Endeavour).
Endeavour SHS will play Hills SHS at Shark Park on Tuesday at 1:00 PM.
Live stream all NRL Schoolboy Cup games at www.dailytelegraph.com.au
** Please note : the main photo in the Daily Telegraph story is not from the Schoolboy Cup opens match in Round 1, it is the scoreboard at the end of the Under 13’s game The Hills SHS v Westfields SHS
Endeavour SHS Team List
1 Jayden Samrani
2 Te Wehi Waitere
3 Kyron Fekitoa
4 Lajuan Vito
5 Lisiate Tupou
6 Max DeMeio
7 Iverson Matai
8 Kakile Leha
9 Kynan Hodges
10 Samuel McCulloch
11 Sam Jinks
12 Junior Taupau
13 Luke Raymond
14 Kye Robson
25 Izayah Tuigamala
16 Samson Mairi
17 Cruiz Devine
18 Dylan Christensen
Hills SHS Team List
1 Blake Metcalfe
2 Araz Nanva
3 Terence Patolo
4 Harry Hassett
5 Siaosi Kaliti
6 Cassius Tia
7 Tylor Bunting
8 Aaron Carbonaro
9 Billy Scott
10 Vena Patuki Case
11 Daniel Readon
12 Luron Patea
13 Moustafa Dirani
14 Jonathon Ibrahim
15 Alaa Lababidi
16 Takasima Huihahau
17 Sam Squire
18 Markis Atoa
19 Henry Finau
The OurFootyTeam Camera’s will be at Shark Park for the Match – also at the Maitland Sports Ground on Wednesday for the All Saints v Farrer game
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