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  • Writer's pictureKent Brockman - Investigative Sports Journalist

MacKillop Saints Show Promise in Ross-Bryers Bowl Clash

Thursday of Week 8 marked an exciting journey for the MacKillop Saints Year 7 & 8 Boys Rugby League team as they ventured south to Katherine to compete in the newly formed Ross-Bryers Bowl. In a thrilling contest, the young Saints showcased their talent, but ultimately fell short against a formidable Katherine High School team.

MacKillop got off to a scorching start in the Bowl, with captain George Tekopua and the promising prop forward from Year 7, Gabriel Te Maro, lighting up the field with the opening two tries of the game. Te Maro's performance drew comparisons to the legendary Jayden Hunter, leaving Coach Matthew Sharp filled with hope for the future.

However, Katherine High School was not to be outdone. Represented by the skilled centre and Katherine High School MVP, Chris McLennan, they found their edge and rallied back. McLennan's remarkable performance saw him amass several tries, proving to be a constant threat to the MacKillop defense.

In the second half, VT in Year 8 managed to claw back a try for Saints, reigniting their hopes. Unfortunately, a costly mistake off the kickoff, coupled with an EJ Glass sinbinning, proved to be hurdles too great to overcome for the visiting MacKillop team, with the match ending 28-12 to the host team.

Despite the disappointment of not securing the Ross-Bryers Bowl in its inaugural year, George Tekopua shone as the Saints' MVP, delivering exceptional performances in both attack and defense. His leadership on the field was undeniable and will undoubtedly inspire the younger players on the team.

Another standout for the Saints was Walter Lasker, who appears to be following in the footsteps of his illustrious brothers, Will and Alister, the latter of the two having made the Saints Team of the Decade. Walter's emergence bodes well for the future of MacKillop Saints rugby league.

Coach Matthew Sharp, while acknowledging the disappointment, remained optimistic about the team's potential in future competitions. He extended his gratitude to Katherine High School coach, Ms. Tasha Dack, for her gracious hospitality and congratulated the Katherine High players for their sportsmanlike conduct throughout the game.

The Ross-Bryers Bowl was established to honour Mr. Jasen Bryers, a longstanding member of the Rugby Department at MacKillop. Bryers expressed his heartfelt appreciation for sharing the name of the Bowl with Ross of Katherine, a local legend who achieved success in rugby league at a high level. It was a fitting tribute to a dedicated staff member who has made a lasting impact on the rugby program at MacKillop.

MacKillop Saints President, Mr. Oren Tyler, also extended his thanks to Mr. Bryers for his tireless service to the rugby program. He emphasized the significance of the annual Ross-Bryers Bowl Rugby League game as a lasting tribute to Mr. Bryers and a testament to the enduring spirit of rugby league in NT schools community.

While the Ross-Bryers Bowl may have eluded Saints this year, the Year 7 & 8 Boys Rugby League team displayed tremendous promise and determination. With their talent, resilience, and dedicated coaching staff, it's clear that success in other competitions is not far away for this young and aspiring team.

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