- Matthew Sharp
MacKillop Saints – Back to Back Champions
Today at Rugby Park the MacKillop Saints 7/8 boys rugby league team successfully reclaimed their title in being crowned PARRS Top End champions for 2019.
Saints entered two sides into this year’s competition with MacKillop 1 in the white strip starting the day in Pool A and MacKillop 2 in the Indigenous strip starting the day in Pool B. MacKillop A went through the pool round undefeated with strong victories in the early rounds versus Dripstone, Marrara Christian and Palmerston Colleges. Konnor Black was a standout performer during the pool games who exhibited fearless defence and also ran denting lines. He was ably supported by Isaiah Waters and Beau Ryan who both ran for length of the field tries.
MacKillop 2 started the day with match ups against Good Shepherd, O’Loughlin and Taminmin Colleges and were unlucky to go down in every game by close margins. Although MacKillop 2 entered the finals without a victory, spirits were still high when they they entered the playoff B bracket. The boys from Saints 2 went try for try with Palmerston Christian College up until the final bell where they eventually won 16-12 thanks to tries from Zippy Bonar (X2), Callum Dalton and recent soccer convert, Tadi. Saints 2 were pencilled into the B Bracket Grand Final but unfortunately an injury to a player from another school who was unable to be moved forced this game to be abandoned.
Saint 2 were coached by Saints Rugby League Director, Mr. Matthew sharp who said the following about their performance –
‘Saints 2 did the College proud at Marrara today. They were a team made up of our new Year 7 talent and they all played well above their weight in each game. They improved out of sight as the tournament continued and the messages I told them at the start of the day were finally put in to play in the Bracket B finals and this allowed them to win when it counted. With the likes of Koen Hughes, Zach Leather and Damen Heikkinen coming through the ranks here at MacKillop, our future as the leading rugby league program in the NT is looking positive’.
Saints 1 faced a tough contest against Good Shepherd in the playoff for first place in finals Bracket A. First half tries to Toby Roberts – who bagged 5 for the tournament – and Matt Neumann allowed Saints to go into the half time break with a little bit of breathing space between the sides. Saints 1 were able to double their score in the second half thanks to tries to team captains Beau Ryan and Konnar Black. Although the team turned on the razzle dazzle in attack at times, their commitment to defence was perhaps the most impressive aspect of their grand final win with their opposition being held scoreless.
Saints 1 were capably lead by coach Joel Robinson who said of their victory –
‘I’m really pleased with the way the team performed out there today. All the boys did everything I asked of them and everybody played a good tournament. Its two PARRS wins in a row for us now and I’m looking forward to getting back here next year to see if we can get a treble’.
Coach Robinson commended all of his troops but made particular mention of Heip Ngo who really turned some heads out there today with a multi-try effort and also John Grenfell who is a young player displaying a lot of potential early into his Saints career.
Waterboy extraordinaire Jasen Bryers must be thanked for his tireless efforts running the water organising the strapping today and for the work he does behind the scenes getting our players match fit.
Our attention now turns to the first round of the newly established Academy Cup U16s Tri-series against Taminmin College next week at MacKillop Field on Wednesday at 1pm where we all look forward to seeing Dan Hausler lead the U16s team around for the first time. It’s going to be a beauty.