Players to Watch in Wednesday’s NRL Schoolboys Phil Hall Cup decider
Author : Andrew Dawson and David Lems
Players to Watch NRL Schoolboys Phil Hall Cup decider
Players to Watch in Wednesday’s NRL Schoolboys Phil Hall Cup Grand final between PBC SHS and St Brendan’s – and also in the schoolgirls Karyn Murphy Cup round-robin.
A feast of schoolboy and schoolgirl finals football awaits us on Wednesday with state grand finals in both the Phil Hall Cup and Karyn Murphy Cup.
The www.couriermail.com.au, the Gold Coast Bulletin, Rockhampton’s Morning Bulletin and News Corp affiliates will livestream the action from 9am – culminating in the Phil Hall Cup grand final between southern conference champions Palm Beach Currumbin SHS and Payne Cup winners St Brendan’s College Yeppoon, who beat Kirwan SHS.
As curtain-raisers the NRL Schoolboy Trophy Queensland grand final between St Augustine’s and Lockyer District, along with the Karyn Murphy Cup decider will feature.
Shalom College rugby league co-ordinator Neil Feather said it was wonderful for the Murphy Cup to be included on grand final day.
“Without this competition, our girls would not have games to prepare for and, therefore, would be lost to rugby league,’’ he said in praise of the NRL’s Amy Bock and Ian Kearton.
“We have so many more talented girls wanting to rugby league now, on the back of watching the NRLW and seeing our Firsts at Confraternity and the KMC state finals. I’ve gone from zero female players to 75 in two years.’’
So who will be some of the key Players to Watch, x-factor players who will help make their side tick?
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Keano Kini (Palm Beach Currumbin SHS)
The joint Justin Hodges Medal winner for Langer Trophy player of the year, the Gold Coast Titans signed year 11 student is both a running fullback and a ball-playing five-eight.
Ryan Foran (PBC SHS)
Foran was the best left edge backrower in the home and away Langer Trophy series and rose to the occasion in the NRL Schoolboys Cup decider when his two tries took PBC SHS from a deficit to level-pegging against Marsden SHS.
Tom Weaver (PBC SHS)
A Player to Watch story is never complete unless the name Tom Weaver is attached to it.
A Gold Coast Titans recruit, he is a puppeteer who steers his team around and swings them into action off front foot ball delivered by wonderful dummy halves Oskar Bryant and Tona Nanu.
Deine Mariner (PBC SHS)
The best schoolboy centre in Queensland, the Brisbane Broncos-signed Mariner has that touch of class about him which can tilt a match. He also works hard in defence, making him a nuisance for St Brendan’s to counter.
Matthew Hill (St Brendan’s)
The Brisbane Broncos-signed Hill entered the Aaron Payne Cup fresh off a stellar campaign for the Capras under 18’s Mal Meninga Cup side. His form was highlighted by his performance in the last minute semi final loss when he ran for over 200m and threatened the opposition line on many occasions. He is a balanced runner with speed and sharp late footwork
Tane Kiriona (St Brendan’s)
A relative unknown in rugby league circles prior to 2021, Kiriona has caught the attention of some influential people in the game this season. With his mid field dominance in this year’s Mal Meninga Cup, he continued this on throughout the Confraternity Shield and Aaron Payne Cup campaigns that followed.
A big mobile aggressive middle forward, Kiriona will be that strong presence holding up the middle third of the field. Look for him combining well with his fellow forward sidekick Noah Corcoran.
Owen Pattie (St Brendan’s)
Pattie stepped up and took the game by the horns when he snapped a late field goal in the dying seconds of SBC’s Aaron Payne Cup Grand Final victory over Kirwan High School last week.
A product of the remote Central Queensland town of Monto, he has been a part of the SBC boarding community since grade 8. He was named player of the tournament for SBC in this year’s Confraternity Shield.
KARYN MURPHY CUP
Keebra Park SHS
A Very talented 16-year-old who represented Queensland in touch and Rugby 7s. She is tough but also a brilliant play maker.
Another multi-talented sportswoman who has represented Queensland in touch, rugby 7s and rugby league. She is a dangerous fullback who isn’t afraid to do the hard work as well.
The Queensland representative across three sports is a five-eighth with silky skills and deceptive speed
Miya Rapana-Faifua and Chantay Ratu at Keebra Park’s Sports Fields. Photograph : Jason O’Brien
Sunny Gerrard (Keebra Park)
The school captain, Gerrard is a natural leader on and off the field. A South Coast and SEQ rugby league representative, she is a tough and uncompromising middle forward.
The 18 year old who only arrived at Keebra this year from Melbourne, she is a devastating line runner that plays either second row or centre. She has been contacted by the Brisbane Broncos to be part of their NRLW squad.
Riley Jorgensen (Ipswich SHS)
The fast improving Ipswich SHS girls league program revealed an array of talent in 2021. Top of the list was Jorgensen five-eight who must install confidence in her side by the manner in which she conducted herself.
Also watch for her halfback Lynn Nielsen whom she has a combination with at both school and Met West level.
Wendy Toma and Tarleah Fisher-Pearson
Toma is a front rower and Fisher-Pearson a fullback, and both girls developed their play this season with the Ipswich Jets under 19s and during the Titans Cup. Fisher-Pearson said the main focus was gelling as a team and having fun together. “Rugby league has really helped me at school to be more focused and because I’m in year 12 this will be my last year competing in the Karyn Murphy Cup,’’ she said.
Toma said the Murphy Cup was a great competition. “It’s a tough competition that will help prepare you for other state wide competitions outside school, like the U19’s comp that was held at the beginning of 2021.”
White is a young gun dummy half who will get her side moving forward with excellent passing and timely running.
Whittard is Shalom College’s most experienced player who regularly plays in Wide Bay representative teams. “Every team needs a member that ‘lives-and-breathes’ the game, and she is that for our girls,’’ said rugby league co-ordinaror Neil Feather.
Florence and Harmonie Fauid
The sisters come from Coconut Island in the Torres Straight. Florence has played for Peninsula at the state under 15’s titles in the past, before moving to Shalom College.
“They both possess natural ball playing ability and play-what-they-see well,’’ Feather said.
“Nine-a-side suits them perfectly and we look forward to seeing what they can produce against the best players in the state.’’
Mikala Lobegeier, Taylor Driver and Kasey Stone
“Makala is our captain and a typical lock forward in a 13 person game,’’ Feather said.
“She will be exceptionally busy in defence, working tirelessly for her team- a great natural leader from the front.
“Taylor is an exceptional touch player whom regularly represents CQ at the touch state titles. She is picking up the skills for rugby league well though and will looking to be involved as much as possible in attack.
Kasey Stone come to us from AFL and is part of the Gold Coast Suns academy. A natural athlete and competitor, she has developed into a half for our side- if she can get her running game together, it will put our girls on the front foot in most of our games.’’
Kirwan SHS is an entrenched Payne Cup powerhouse in schoolboys, but the school’s girls’ program was going from strength to strength.
Kirwan SHS will be in Wednesday’s state finals – just four years after starting its rugby league program.
Outstanding talents like Brandy Yallop – now an elite Australian football player – Lhylla Williamson, Montaya Hudson, Jammie-Lee Sarriman, Jayde Watson, Niquita Peters and Chloe Watson have all been a part of the girls rugby league evolution.
Theophelia Mosby-Nona was also a star at the Murphy Cup in 2019, and the school’s appearance at this year’s tournament highlights the girl power within the school’s league ranks.
Wednesday (Redcliffe Dolphins)
Karyn Murphy Cup Final Series
9am – Ipswich SHS Vs Keebra Park SHS
9:30am – Shalom College Vs Kirwan SHS
10:30am – Ipswich SHS Vs Kirwan SHS
11:00am – Shalom College Vs Keebra Park SHS
12:00pm – Shalom College Vs Ipswich SHS
12:30pm – Kirwan SHS Vs Keebra Park SHS
NRL Schoolboy Trophy Qld Grand Final
1pm – St Augustines Vs Lockyer District
Karyn Murphy Cup Grand Final
2:30pm – Team A TBD Vs Team B TBD
NRL Schoolboy Phil Hall Cup Qld Grand Final
3:30pm – Palm Beach-Currumbin SHS Vs St Brendan’s College
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