St Brendan's old boys take on the young pups
RUGBY LEAGUE: St Brendan's College First XIII co-captain Tyler Szepanowski has waited three years for this moment.
Along with co-captain Travis Leo, the towering front rower will lead the school's top-13 against some of its former stars, and his former mentor Cooper Bambling in the annual match against the St Brendan's College Old Boys.
The St Brendan's boys will be tested by North Queensland Cowboys Holden Cup halfback Bambling, former NRL stars PJ Marsh and Jamie Simpson, and a host of ex-Queensland Cup players during the match, which has become an institution for the college.
A SBC graduate in 2013, Bambling lived at the Edmund Rice dormitory in his final year along with Szepanowski, who was then in Year 9.
Szepanowski was a tiny 14-year-old fresh from the Central Highlands town of Moranbah and said Bambling was someone to look up to during his formative years at the college.
Now Szepanowski is nearing 100kg and towers over Bambling, who is about to start preseason with the Cowboys' NRL squad.
"He gave me a fair few floggings when he was here at school," Szepanowski said with a laugh.
"Not really. We used to muck around and wrestle a bit - it was all in good fun."
"Back then he was up to my shoulder, now I'm barely up to his shoulder," Bambling responded.
"In all seriousness we got along really well - I built a really good bond with the Year 9 boys during that year."
The pair will feature in the match at the college today with the St Brendan's College Old Boys presenting two sides - an under-35 and an over-35 team.
The match is traditionally played as a bit of fun, however the competitive streak found inside its players does occasionally surface.
"As a young fella at school you didn't want to get beaten by the old fellas," Bambling said.
"It's a social thing and everyone enjoys it, but blokes are competitive and deep down want to win the match."
The match will be played under lights at St Brendan's College, Yeppoon from 6.15pm.
The main game will be preceded by a curtain raiser, a 2017 SBC First XIII trial match, which kicks-off at 5pm.
All are welcome.