Next Wednesday, 3rd August 2022, MacKillop will host Palmerston College in the annual Palmerston Cup clash. This year, teams will be fielded in the Middle School Boys, Middle School Girls and Open Boys divisions. All eyes will be on the main event Open Boys match which acts as the graduation match for our Year 12 students.
Saints Rugby League Head Coach, Mr. Matthew Sharp, announced the team he will take into the match –
Ryan S (Year 10)
Owen Pettersen (Year 11)
Koen Hughes (Year 10)
Brad Tanner (Year 11)
Cohen Patch (Year 10)
Brandon Norris (Year 12)
Harry Heath (Year 9)
Desian Brown (Year 12)
Brayden Tilley (Year 12)
Liam Kennedy © (Year 12)
Noah Pinhiero (VC) (Year 12)
Jett Wilson (Year 12)
Dylan Mugadza (Year 12)
Nkosilathi Sibanda (Year 12)
Shane Bracken (Year 11)
Nathaniel Brown (Year 10)
Alfred Walker (Year 10)
Jayden Lih (Year 10)
William Gray (Year 12)
Liam Kennedy will captain the team and lead an all-Year 12 forward pack that will be looking to dominate the ruck and gain forward momentum for the opening sets of the match. With the exception of Brandon Norris, who recently made his First Grade debut in the local NRL NT competition, the backline is full of Opens debutants who will all get their first taste of Palmerston Cup action next week.
All eyes will be on Year 9 debutant halfback, Harry Heath, who will help Norris steer the team around the park. It will be a big step up in competition for Heath but he will be up to the task having come off a player of the tournament performance for the NT Titans at the Australian School Sports Rugby League Championships that were recently held in QLD. Heath follows in the footsteps of former Year 9 Open team debutants from recent years which includes names such as AJ Lasker, Izaiah Waters and Beau Ryan who have all gone on to play in high levels of competition both here in the NT and interstate.
Head Strength & Conditioning coach, Mr. Jasen Bryers, will coach the Middle School Boys team on game day and that team will run out as follows –
Glen Ah Mat
A number of regular names have been selected to participate in the Catholic Cup which will be held in Week 4 instead of this game. It is a sign of the remarkable health of Rugby League at MacKillop that such a competitive side can be named for the Palmerston game, while others rest awaiting the Catholic Cup event.
Mr. Bryers and Mr. Sharp named Year 8 players Ethan Mow, Sonny Watkinson, Zion Lafaele-Selio, Ethan McCourt and Cooper Williamson as players the fans should keep a close eye on come kick off. There hasn’t been a lot of opportunities for these players in recent times on the back of the strength of the age 15 Year 10 players who have experienced a lot of success in their school playing careers so all named will be excited to show the College what they have. Year 7’s own Glen Ah Mat will make his Saints debut off the bench and will be looking for a big performance.
Mr. Robert Butcher will coach his highly touted Middle School Girls team and will name the side in a separate announcement later this week.
Parents and former players are not only welcomed but encouraged to get down to MacKillop Field to watch the day’s events. The schedule for the day is as follows –
11am – 11.45am – Middle School Girls (20min halves + 5min HT)
11.45am – 12.30pm – Middle School Boys (20min halves + 5min HT)
12.30pm – 1.30pm – Senior School Boys (25min halves + 10min HT)
1.35pm – 1.40pm – Presentation & photos
April O’Neil – Sporting Correspondent
Last year's winning team