Bundy boys to put on a show for grand final
BUNDABERG State High School's Open's rugby league side has qualified for the Queensland final of the NRL Schoolboy Trophy.
Bundaberg High has taken all the right turns on the road to the finals, six straight wins against schools from across the state has qualified them for finals for the second year in a row.
The reigning champions, Bundaberg High has managed another qualifier with a new roster of players, some still in Year 10, with just six or seven returned from last year's side, according to coach Kevin Sherriff.
"The team's been able to get a bit of a lead attacking-wise,” Sherriff said, adding they just had to defend their lead.
The Bundy High boys will face off against winners of the North Queensland competition, Cairns-based Trinity Bay State High School.
Sherriff said Trinity Bay have "been known to play some flash football”, but his boys shouldn't be too worried about the prospect of facing off against them.
The final will be played in the final few days of the month but a date is yet to be confirmed for the match, which will be televised nationally on Fox Sport.
Sherriff said the televised aspect of the match gave it a more professional feeling and was a morale booster for the players.
He said it inspired the boys to play their best, "knowing it's an opportunity to be seen by clubs in Brisbane”.
Defeating Gladstone's Chanel College 52-0 last year, the Bundy side has developed a bit of a reputation to uphold going into the finals.
The Trinity Bay SHS line up doesn't appear to be a push-over however, featuring a number of representatives from the Peninsula Rugby League.
More than 300 schools throughout the country participate in the competition each year, making Bundaberg SHS's achievement of qualifying two years in a row even more impressive.
The competition isn't just schoolboy fun. Seven Bundaberg SHS players from the 2018 side moved on to play in this year's under-18 Mal Meninga Cup.
"That's the purpose of the tournament is to get teams like us and Trinity Bay a pathway to play higher football,” Sherriff said.
The win last year also cemented a partnership between Bundaberg SHS and the Central Queensland Capras, Bundy High now being the base of the Capras Elite Player Academy, something that was discussed with Sherriff before he had set foot on the bus to go home after the finals last year.
The academy allows students and others from the Wide Bay to access higher levels of coaching and resources, and shows players there are pathways for future success.
Road to the final
Round 1 - Bundaberg SHS 12 : Shalom College 6
Round 2 - Bundaberg SHS 20 : Aldridge SHS 12
Round 3 - Bundaberg SHS 28 : Nanango SHS 22
Round 4 - Bundaberg SHS 22 : Morayfield SHS 18
Round 5 - Bundaberg SHS 34 : Dalby SHS 24
Round 6 - Bundaberg SHS : Varsity College, Gold Coast (forfeit)
QLD Final - Bundaberg SHS versus Trinity Bay SHS
Back L-R: Max Shorter, Malachi Law, Fono Tapu, Joel Baldwin, Lochlan Modrow, Jacob Scadden, Ryan Sharpe, Isaiah Bullard, Kevin Sherriff, Lachlan Santana
Front L-R: Jensen Deamer, Livingstone Lingawa, Jack Munro, Clay Fagg, Ethan Evans, Chad Booker, Marcus Tanner
Absent: Jaymon Smithson, Will Holder, Zane Baretta