School­boys fired up for big stage fi­nal

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - TRENT SLATTER

IGNATIUS Park Col­lege coach Chris­tian Quabba be­lieves his play­ers will be ready for any­thing when they take the field against Rock­hamp­ton’s The Cathe­dral Col­lege for to­mor­row’s Aaron Payne Cup grand fi­nal.

The next gen­er­a­tion of rugby league tal­ents will get to show­case their skills in the cur­tain- raiser to the block­buster NRL clash between the Cowboys and Storm at 1300SMILES Sta­dium.

Ignatius Park had to pro­duce some­thing special to book their place in this year’s school­boys de­cider af­ter over­com­ing St Pa­trick’s Col­lege Mackay 25- 24 thanks to an ex­tra- time field goal in the semi- fi­nals.

Nei­ther team could break the dead­lock in the first pe­riod of ex­tra time be­fore half­back Adam Cook calmly slot­ted his field goal and Quabba said it was the per­fect preparation for what shapes as a phys­i­cal grand fi­nal.

“It was def­i­nitely a tough game of footy and you al­ways learn a lot about your char­ac­ter and re­silience and will­ing­ness to turn up for each other in those games,” Quabba said.

“Things got tough at stages, but the boys showed their abil­ity to get the job done and they’re cer­tainly go­ing to need to call on that on Friday.

“The Cathe­dral Col­lege are com­ing here hav­ing just beaten Kir­wan and they’ll be very, very con­fi­dent. We’re un­der no il­lu­sions that they’re a pow­er­ful side and dan­ger­ous all over the park. We’re go­ing to have to be at our ab­so­lute best to get the re­sult we’re look­ing for, but it’s an ex­cit­ing chal­lenge and that’s why we train to play th­ese games.”

The Aaron Payne Cup grand fi­nal also dou­bles as the Queens­land semi- fi­nal of the GIO School­boys Cup and Quabba said the Ignatius Park boys de­served their chance on the big stage.

“Our boys work hard all year and this is op­por­tu­nity for them to show­case that on big stage. It doesn’t get any big­ger than an Aaron Payne Cup fi­nal at 1300SMILES Sta­dium,” he said.

“It’s what school­boys rugby league is all about.”

Kick- off for to­mor­row’s Aaron Payne Cup fi­nal is 3.55pm.

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