The MacKillop Saints were big winners today at the NRL NT End of Season Gala Day played at Saints Field.
Before making the grand final of the end of season meet up, the u15s 1sts team played Palmerston College and the MacKillop Saints 2nds team, dubbed ‘Mrs. Graham’s White Knights’, for their donning of the away white strip.
The opening game saw Saints 1sts cross the line 6 times on their way to an impressive opening victory. Alister Lasker was the captain of the team and steered the boys around the paddock with control. He was assisted by hooker, Brandon Norris and 5/8 Beau Ryan who both had good opening games.
An upset was on the cards in the second boys fixture as ‘Mrs. Grahams White Knights’ crossed first in the opening minutes thanks to a big charge from new recruit Noah Mitchell to score to the right of the uprights. Despite the early scare, the firsts team ended up taking the lead towards the back end of the first half through big runs from Dylan Mugadza and Isaiah Baldock, and ended up with the victory against their little brothers in a highly entertaining affair. Congratulations go to Year 7 players Izyiah Pairama, Koen Hughes, John Grenfell and Ryan Straube who were selected out of the junior ranks by Senior Boys coach, Matthew Sharp, to be blooded in the older age group today.
Next up was the grand final against Palmerston College. Pre-match, Coach Sharp delivered a game plan to the team, and the opening set of six was evidence that the team had listened with Konnar Black going over on the left edge in the first minute of play. From here the flood gates opened and the Saints marched up the field consistently, starving the visiting Palmerston of possession, on their way to a 32 – 0 halftime lead.
It was more of the same after the break with the Saints 1sts team scoring in abundance. Izaiah Waters was a standout from the bench scoring one try off his first touch of the ball and another directly from a kick off with his second touch. Liam Kennedy hit gaps with pace and bagged himself a try as well on the way to a Man of the Tournament award for the day too. In essence, it was a great team performance and one where every player contributed to the win.
When the final whistle blew, whispers in the crowd suggested that the final score for the Saints had reached 70. What was really impressive though was the fact that the Saints were able to keep the opposition to nil in the final. Josh Chiplin, Jye Mallett, Reilly Wells and Jack Mullins really stood out in defence today.
Big congratulations go to Brayden Tilley who was named player of the tournament for the 2nds team today and also to Ana Malupo for being named player of the tournament for the Girls u16s side who also played today. Mrs. Mattison’s Eels cup winning side won a game and lost the other against a classy Palmerston Girls outfit today.
Special thanks to Mr. Kent for steering the ship today for the 2nds team and also to Ms. Mills – strapper extraordinaire. Special thanks also to Zac Morgan, Beau Ryan, Konnar Black and Izaiah Waters – expert tent carriers - for helping with the pack up (albeit with a solid dose of moaning!).
We now look forward to the NT Schools Rugby Union competition coming up in Term 4 and wish all our teams the best of luck in that weekly Wednesday afternoon competition. To sign up, please see Mr. Kent.
Signing out from Rugby League reporting for the season,
Investigative Sports Journalist