Honours shared at rugby carnival

Chris Rose, of Bundaberg High, escapes the tackle by Philip Fletcher, of Shalom Red.
Chris Rose, of Bundaberg High, escapes the tackle by Philip Fletcher, of Shalom Red. Mike Knott

HONOURS were shared around in the 2010 Anton Toia Memorial Secondary Schools Rugby Carnival at ATW Sports Complex on Saturday.

St Luke's Anglican School, Bundaberg High and Shalom College claimed one title each in open, under-15 and under-13 respectively.

St Luke's kicked off their open campaign with a 17-7 dispatch of the Shalom Red team 17-7, but they then had to settle for a 5-all draw with Bundaberg High before being pipped by Shalom Black 7-5 in their last pool game.

But they saved their best for last and, after drawing with Shalom in the open final last year, they put their name on the trophy for a fourth time, turning the tables on Shalom Black 24-0 with tries to Tyler Dell, Brandon Cox, Elisha Kiddie and Justin Dowling and two conversions to Dell.

They even surprised their coach, Nick Johnstone.

“I didn't think they played well during the day, apart from the first game, but we have 12 players who played senior football on Friday night and quite a few were fatigued,” Johnstone said.

“You could see it in their play. They made a lot of mistakes and it wasn't until it was a bit cooler that they stepped up.

“They had an hour's break before our last game and they had something to eat, and that certainly helped them.''

Johnstone said scrum-half Justin Dowling was their best.

“Justin is a good little player – he scored six tries for the day and he makes some great opportunities. Also Tyler was very good – he plays fullback in 15s but centre in 10s – he has a lot of pace and his attack was good. And front rower Brandon Cox plays for the (Alloway) Falcons on Friday nights and he really dominated in the forwards,” Johnstone said.

Shalom College captain and powerhouse forward Kurt Dempsey received some consolation when he took out the Open Player of the Carnival award, but their coach Steve Chappel said Morgan Ortt and big-hearted playmaker Travis Munckton also excelled.

Bundaberg High sealed a 10-5 victory over St Luke's in the under-15 final with a stunning last-gasp 60m field goal to their sporting gifted fullback Riley Blundell, who also scored their try and kicked their conversion.

He finished the day with five tries while coach Bruce Haase said captain and flyhalf Kyle Laybutt was another star, but St Luke's second rower Dexter Leckie took out the under-15 Player of the Carnival gong.

Shalom defeated Bundaberg High 24-5 in under-13.