LEADING THE WAY: St Brendan's First XIII co-captain and back rower Bill Gunning will have a big part to play in his team's two crucial games in the Aaron Payne Cup in Mackay this week.
LEADING THE WAY: St Brendan's First XIII co-captain and back rower Bill Gunning will have a big part to play in his team's two crucial games in the Aaron Payne Cup in Mackay this week. Allan Reinikka ROK070619apaynecu

St Brendan's eye top spot in Aaron Payne Cup

RUGBY LEAGUE: St Brendan's College First XIII head to Mackay todayintent on securing top spot in the Aaron Payne Cup.

The Terry Hansen-coached team is equal second with Kirwan on six points, two behind Ignatius Park.

The three teams have each lost a game but Ignatius Park has just one to play, while St Brendan's and Kirwan have two games remaining.

St Brendan's, along with The Cathedral College and Rockhampton Grammar School, will play double headers in Mackay this week.

Those six games on Tuesday and Wednesday will be livestreamed on The Morning Bulletin website.

St Brendan's tackle St Pat's at 3pm Tuesday and Kirwan at 10.15am Wednesday, TCC take on Mackay State High at 4.15pm Tuesday and Ignatius Park at 9am Wednesday, and Grammar play Kirwan at 1.45pm Tuesday and St Patrick's at 11.30am Wednesday.

READ: VIDEO: Re-watch TCC v RGS Aaron Payne clash

READ: Editor's Letter: Aaron Payne Cup brings exciting new offer

READ: Livestream opens up opportunities for league talent

READ: Game on! Livestream to showcase schoolboys league talent

Hansen knows it will be a tough assignment but is "quietly confident" his team can finish with two wins.

"St Pat's are a pretty good team so that won't be an easy game for us and Kirwan are always tough," he said.

"If we get the two wins it could well come down to for and against.

"Our approach is to go out and give it our best shot.

"I'd like to think we will play well and can come out on top of the table."

St Brendan's depth will be tested.

Not only have they lost four regulars to injury, including their co-captain and lock Sam Strohfeldt, but a wave of illness has swept through the squad, putting another four players in doubt for the trip north.

They have also lost Blake Laherty to commitments with the North Queensland Cowboys.

Hansen has called a number of players into the squad, including Kalani Sing, the son of Origin legend Matt Sing.

 

St Brendan's halfback Peyton Jenkins.
St Brendan's halfback Peyton Jenkins. Allan Reinikka ROK150519aleague4

He expects co-captain and back rower Bill Gunning and halfback Peyton Jenkins to have a big influence on the results, as well as Mauga Nona, who will wear the No.1.

"I don't look at other teams that much. I'm a great believer in not worrying too much about what they do and more about what we do," Hansen said. "We've worked really hard on our defence and I'm hoping that stands up for us.

"In big games, it's defence that will win it for you.

"We've certainly got enough footy in us to score points, we just need to make sure we don't leak too many."



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