ON THE BALL: (Front from left) Braden Henricksen, Kynan Hard, Jake Bonus, Brendan Grills, (back from left) Chelson Diggins, Flynn Purkis, Brad Clark, Connor Black and Aaron Cunningham.
ON THE BALL: (Front from left) Braden Henricksen, Kynan Hard, Jake Bonus, Brendan Grills, (back from left) Chelson Diggins, Flynn Purkis, Brad Clark, Connor Black and Aaron Cunningham. Mike Knott BUN250619SHAL1

Shalom is the best in Bundy but is now aiming higher

THEY'VE beaten the best in Bundaberg and now Shalom College is aiming to beat the best in the state.

The school is preparing for its biggest Queensland Secondary Schools Rugby League Confraternity in a decade, starting today in Bundaberg.

Shalom College is hosting its fifth QISSRL tournament after hosting the first edition almost 40 years ago in 1980.

Since then it has hosted tournaments in 1985, 2000 and 2009.

This year it hopes to repeat what it did the last time it hosted a decade ago.

Shalom College took out Division 2 in2009in their first success in the tournament when it was last hosted in Bundaberg.

It was their first success in Division 2, after winning in Division 3 in 2000, before claiming the title again in 2014.

If good things come in threes then Shalomis on track for another title afterwinning the past two titles in five-year gaps.

But Shalom College coach Neil Feather said the players needed to believe they could win the event.

"We are a skilful team, very small team, got to throw the ball to have success,” he said.

"We've got half the package we need butwe need the other to have success next week.

"It's getting them to develop the belief.Ifthey bring that belief and toughnesstheir natural skills should serve them well.”

Shalom College warmed up for Confraternity by beating Bundaberg State High School 10-4 in the Bundaberg and District Secondary Schools titles for open boys.

It was an impressive win against students in the opposition that plays for the Central Queensland Capras in the Mal Meninga Auswide Bank under-18 competition.

"We played tough but didn't play as well as we could,” he said.

"They needed the mental attitude and found it for the contest.”

Feather hopes the students can use the success to win Division 2 but face tough tests first up Columba Catholic College, Marist Emerald and St Edmund's College.

"They are going to play against bigger and stronger opposition than Bundy High,” Feather said.

"We've got three of the toughest teams in the division.

"But if we want to win, we have to beat all those guys anyway.”

Feather said Shalom would be ready to take on the best of Queensland.

"Our game plan is certainly geared towards anyone,” he said.

"They are really good kids and they are ready to play their best.

"They like to represent the school and Bundaberg.”

Shalom College captain Jake Bonus said itwas an honour to represent the school infront of family,friendsand the Bundaberg community.

"It's good that it's held in Bundaberg and to get to captain in front of friends and family,” he said.

"We've prepared for the past 12 monthsand we've always got each others' backs.”

He's confident of a good showing from the team as well.

"We know we've got the team and the strike power to get there and get it done,” Jake said.

"We'll get success by moving through our forwards.

"Flynn Purkis, Harry Ball and BrendanGrills will be players to look out for.”

Jake said there would be no better feelingin his school career so far than running out on Monday to play their first match.

Full fixtures for Shalom College are on the back page of the feature.



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