St Joseph’s College, Lochinvar has continued Maitland’s incredible schoolboy rugby league success winning the U14s Cochrane Cup Rugby League grand final.
St Joseph’s ended a challenging run to beat Kildare College, Wagga Wagga, 26-16 in the grand final at Penrith last Wednesday.
St Joseph’s began their campaign in term one at a gala day against schools from the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese. They defeated St Edward’s, Gosford in the area final
They then accounted for De La Salle College Sydney, St Joseph’s Port Macquarie and O’Connor Catholic College Armidale in the qualification finals.
In the grand final Kildare got off to a flying start, scoring the opening try within a few minutes.
However, the St Joseph’s boys regrouped and the starting forwards Caleb Garvie, Ned Jennings, Rory Whitby, Seth Blisst and Billy McNickle started to get some field position with strong runs off dummy half Trey Morris.
This allowed the halves pair of Fletcher Sharpe and Mayson Metcalf to find more space for the outside backs Tyler Threadgate, Jonathan Scholes-Gilson, Thomas Swift and Jordan Noonan.
Fullback Blaik Schmidhauser was ever present, ready to receive a late offload and make ground up the middle.
The interchange players of Isaac Parker, TJ Roe, Kaiden Hutchinson and Seth Vincent continued to provide good runs and solid defence when they got their opportunity to take to the field.
Coach Matt Wilks urged his young team to be ready for whatever was thrown at them.
Although injured and unable to play Connor Newell and Will Leonard provided much needed support to their teammates from the bench.
St Joseph’s established a 20-6 lead by half-time and coach Matt Wilks urged his young team to be ready for whatever was thrown at them.
The second half was a more seesawing affair with both teams crossing for tries.
Kildare were playing an expansive game to try and score quick points but St Joseph’s were very determined to bring home the trophy and continued to keep turning up for each other in both defence and attack to run out 26-16 winners.
The team will now take on the winner of the public school equivalent competition on Tuesday, September 11, in the curtain raiser to the NRL Schoolboys Cup final.
All Saints College, St Mary’s campus narrowly missed out on a place in the final, losing their semi-final to Patrician Brothers, Blacktown.
They reversed the result in the NSW Combined Catholic Colleges Cup beating Patrician Brothers 14-0.