Sport

Schools to have own little Origin

Brennan Dempsey and Jacob O’Shea of St Patrick’s will line up against Woongarra’s Rhys Lu and Eden Sammut in tonight’s ARL Development Cup Bundaberg grand final.
Brennan Dempsey and Jacob O’Shea of St Patrick’s will line up against Woongarra’s Rhys Lu and Eden Sammut in tonight’s ARL Development Cup Bundaberg grand final. Murray Wenzel

WHILE most will be settling in for another State of Origin epic, these 11 and 12-year-olds will be waging a territorial battle of their own.

After months of training and weeks of sudden-death competition, Woongarra and St Patrick’s primary schools have emerged as the final two in contention for the Bundaberg ARL Development Cup.

The winner earns a place in the next phase of the competition, with a chance to play at Suncorp Stadium in an NRL curtain-raiser the ultimate carrot at the end of the journey.

It has been a surprise journey for Woongarra, progressing to the final after some great football against highly fancied Bundaberg North and Kalkie-South Kolan in the last few weeks. Steering them around the park has been Bundaberg junior representatives Rhys ‘Lulu’ Lu and Eden Sammut.

Their blinding speed and savvy play has produced big points and has kept St Patrick’s on their toes.

“I know it’s going to be a tough game; they’ve been playing really well in this competition,” Jacob O’Shea from St Pat’s said.

“We’re all pretty excited to go to the next level of competition though.”

St Pat’s coach Matt Plumb has put the pressure on the dark horse, saying they will go in as favourites after a comprehensive semi-final win last week.

But St Pat’s – last year’s runner up – have got a team that has played together successfully for two years straight and will be gunning for points when the whistle blows at 5.35 tonight.

St Luke’s play Gin Gin in a curtain-raiser, with finals presentations expected at 6.20pm.

The grounds will be inspected this morning and if the game is postponed a final will be played next Monday.