All Saints College, St Mary's campus have won their way through to the semi-finals of the NRL Schoolboys Cup with a 32-20 quarter-final win against Holy Cross Ryde at Campbell Stadium on Tuesday.
St Mary’s will now face competition top-seeds Patrician Brothers College, Blacktown on August 22 at a yet to be confirmed venue.
The Maitland boys are once again in uncharted waters after creating history by becoming the first team from St Mary’s campus to advance to the quarter-finals when they defeated Illawarra Sports High at Maitland Sportsground last week.
This time the team did not have a parochial home crowd filling the grandstand to cheer them on, but they handled themselves with aplomb going out to an early lead and not relinquishing it.
“We shot to the lead 16-0, we let them score a couple of tries but kicked two penalty goals late in the first half to lead 20-8 at half-time,” ASC, St Mary’s sports co-ordinator Col Love said.
One of those goals was a kick from half-way by half-back and Australian Schoolboys representative Jock Madden with the last kick of the first half.
Madden finished with four converted goals and two penalty goals and his Australian Schoolboys teammate back-rower Timanu Alexander continued his outstanding form with two tries.
It’s been a huge week for Alexander who received a call at home from the Australian Schoolboys coach after the team’s win against Illawarra Sports High to say he had been called into the Australian team.
St Mary’s backs also got in the tries with highly talented fullback Danny Vale getting a double and powerful centre Caleb Claydon-Nicholls crossed for one.
Holy Cross scored first after the break to reduce St Mary’s lead, but the team showed real steel and maturity to refocus and get the win.
“After half-time they scored first and we scored a couple of late tries to seal it,” Love said.
“We were always in control but let them come a bit close for a while.”
Love said it was a fantastic team performance and the boys will be confident going into the semi-final despite Patrician Brothers top seeding.
He said Manly under-20s player Tyran Ott had a fantastic game to be the side’s best, followed closely by Alexander and his second-row partner Callan Burgess and centre Jye Bieman-King.
Whatever the result of the semi-final against Patrician Brothers, it will be St Mary’s most successful year of footy in terms of progress in the NRL Cup and player representation in the Australian Schoolboys team.