St Brendan's steeling for tough contest against TCC
RUGBY LEAGUE: St Brendan's College coaching team says its First XIII selection has been one of its most difficult yet with a host of contenders putting their hands up.
The team will get its first taste of competition tonight against The Cathedral College in the opening game of the Aaron Payne Cup at Browne Park.
St Brendan's new director of rugby league Nathan Doyle said this selection was the first step in settling on the final line-up for 2019.
Co-captains Bill Gunning and Sam Strohfeldt will lead a strong outfit, with players such as Laish Salam, Blake Laherty and Jake Keating expected to make a big impact.
"Our senior squad has been working hard on the training field and in the gym for months and we expect a good showing on Wednesday,” Doyle said.
"At the same time, there is still an opportunity for those not on the field to show our coaching staff why they should be pulling on the green and gold jersey this year.”
Long-serving coach Terry Hansen said tonight's game would provide an opportunity to see "where we're at, what we need to do and what we need to work on”.
He has been impressed by the attitude of every member of the squad.
"They've bought into everything we wanted to do, their commitment to training and just across the board,” he said.
"They've worked really hard and I'm just hoping it all pays off for them.
"It's going to be a tough game, obviously TCC has a very good team as well.
"They play a really expansive game, they play with a lot of depth and a lot of passion.”
Hansen said his team was well-balanced, with talent across the park.
It boasts a core of experienced players including Gunning, Strohfeldt, Liam Kenny, Jett Hill, Brayden Jones who were part of the team last year and knew what was required.
Hansen is excited to see young half back Peyton Jenkins in action tonight.
"I love the way he competes and his confidence, and I think he will be good for us,” he said.
"I haven't see the boys play as a unit yet but given the way they conduct themselves and the way they've trained they should be pretty good.
"This game will let us see what works best for us and we'll know more after Wednesday.
"My final word will be play fair, play strong, play hard and stay calm.”
The schools under-15 teams clash at 5.30pm in the Cowboys Challenge before the Aaron Payne Cup clash at 6.55pm.
- St Brendan's First XIII: Blake Laherty, Jake Keating, Mitch Biddulph, Coby Williamson, Jye Marriott, Laish Salam, Peyton Jenkins, Tully Barritt, Isaac Garraway, Liam Kenny, Illami Bulli, Bill Gunning (c), Sam Strohfeldt, Brayden Jones, Shannan Grey, Grady Callaghan, Jack Tibbs, Dalton Loram, Jett Hill
- The Cathedral College Open A: Jarvis Wedel, Lincoln Pickering, Carson Huth, Kurtis Farr, Zayne Cox, Darcy Biles, Brodie Gill, Riley Boaza, Thallon Peters, Mitchell Leard-Lamont, Darcy Hancock, Renny Jackson, Jeremy McLaughlin, Jackson Taylor, Jack Brooks, Keinan Smith, Jackson Warde