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  • Writer's pictureKent Brockman - Investigative Sports Journalist

Year 10 Triumphs in Grade of Origin Rugby Clash and Retains the Jack Cox Commemorative Shield

In a highly anticipated Grade of Origin rugby league match held at MacKillop Field last Friday, the Year 10 Rugby Codes class emerged triumphant with a commanding 20-8 victory over the Year 9 team. The clash of these talented young athletes captivated the crowd, with exceptional performances and nail-biting moments that left spectators on the edge of their seats.

The match was highlighted by two outstanding players who shone brightly for their respective teams.

Jack Elliott, representing Year 10, showcased his exceptional skill set and earned the well-deserved title of Most Valuable Player (MVP) for his remarkable performance from hooker. He masterfully orchestrated plays, executed precise passes, and displayed unwavering determination throughout the game. Elliott's strategic decision-making when scooting from the ruck saw him beat multiple defenders to score Year 10's opening try.

On the Year 9 side, Zion Lafaele-Selio emerged as a standout player and the MVP for his team. Lafaele-Selio's exceptional performance included scoring both of the Year 9 team's tries, showcasing his explosive speed and elusiveness. His first try, which opened the scoring, was a 60m long range effort that had an already excited crowd cheering on their feet with excitement.

The match also witnessed the rise of new talents who made significant contributions. Making his debut for the Year 9 team, Nate Waters left an indelible mark on the game. In a moment that ignited the crowd, Waters delivered a crunching tackle on Nash White, causing him to drop the ball. This display of tenacity and courage proved Waters' potential as a rising star in the rugby league arena.

Ralph Lonsdale, another key player for the Year 9 team, exhibited exceptional toughness and resilience in the middle of the pitch. Despite facing more experienced forwards, Lonsdale seamlessly integrated himself among his teammates and displayed remarkable strength and composure. His contributions were vital in maintaining the team's forward momentum.

Head Coach Matthew Sharp described the match as a closely contested encounter, saying, "It was a very close match, with both teams displaying immense talent and determination on the field. The late withdrawal of Jackson Jones certainly tipped the Year 10s into favoritism before the match, but the Year 9 team fought valiantly."

Year 10 Coordinator, Ms. Mae Emery, expressed her pride in the Year 10 boys for their exceptional performance and spirit, stating, "I am incredibly proud of our Year 10 team for playing with great determination and retaining the prestigious Jack Cox Commemorative Shield in 2023."

The Grade of Origin rugby league match was not only a display of talent and athleticism but also an embodiment of the camaraderie and competitive spirit within MacKillop Catholic College. As the Year 10 team celebrated their victory, the Year 9 team left the field with their heads held high, knowing they had given their all in another riveting clash.

The retention of the Jack Cox Commemorative Shield by the Year 10 team in 2023 further solidified their legacy and added to the excitement surrounding the rugby league program at MacKillop Catholic College. With promising talents emerging from both sides, the future of rugby league looks bright for these young athletes who continue to inspire and captivate with their skills on the field.

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