GIO Schoolboy Cup: Patrician Brothers take out Championship
Patrician Brothers Blacktown have confirmed their standing as one of the most talented schoolboys sides to ever take the field, overwhelming a brave Endeavour 32-6 in the GIO Schoolboy Cup Final at Toyota Stadium on Sunday.
After a tight first half in which Endeavour dominated but found themselves down 14-6, Patrician Brothers ran in three second half tries to win the school’s maiden schoolboy competition after twice falling short in the 2004 and 2007 finals.
With four Australian schoolboys, another out injured and a host of NSW and SG Ball stars, Patrician Brothers Blacktown were already a team of schoolboy champions, and assistant coach Greg Beacroft said the win confirmed his side as a champion team.
“This is a great side, not just a team of great players,” said Beacroft.
We’ve had to beat sides like Endeavour today, Holy Cross in the semis and last year’s champions Hills in the pool rounds, that’s three teams that have all won this competition recently, so this year’s definitely been a case of the whole team performing amazingly rather than one or two players carrying us.”
Fittingly though, it was two of the more famous names in the Blacktown side that led from the front. Bryce Cartwright, the son of Titans coach and former Panther John, was named man of the match for featuring heavily in three tries, while 16 year-old Robert Jennings showed the trademark pace of elder brother and NSW centre Michael in scoring two long range tries of his own.
Captain and Australian schoolboy Chad McGill said that despite receiving plenty of representative accolades throughout the season, his players regarded winning the title as their biggest achievement.
“Even though we’ve had all these boys make the rep teams, and we all play for our clubs, the team we most enjoy playing for is our school, so we all wanted to finish it off for them,” said the Eels Toyota Cup star.
“It’s an honour, it’s something I’ve dreamed about since I was in year 7 watching the senior side run around. I always looked up to them and now we’ve been able to do it ourselves, and win it in the school’s 60th year; it’s great.”
Despite the lopsided final score Endeavour were far from disgraced, and enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges after 16 year-old five eighth Jaden Clarke stepped through some flimsy defence to open the scoring in just the second minute.
However as the big Patrician Brothers forwards began to build momentum Endeavour’s defence began to wane, and tries to Jennings and fellow Panthers junior Dallin Watene-Zelezniak gave the pre-game favourites a decisive lead at the halftime break.
Upon the resumption it was all Patrician Brothers, as Cartwright, who had played for the Panthers Toyota Cup side just 36 hours earlier, began to wreak havoc down the left edge. With a powerful running game and deft hands, the NSW U/18’s second rower laid on two tries in five minutes for halfback Sione Tonga, sending the large contingent of travelling Blacktown supporters into raptures and delivering the school it’s first championship.
For Endeavour the future looks bright despite the loss, with a number of players able to return next year and five-eighth and Sharks junior Clarke receiving the Peter Sterling Medal as the competition’s best player in just his first season with the school.
Coach Dave Howlett was full of praise for the Indigenous youngster, who only moved to Sydney this year from Lake Cargellico in the state’s South West.
“It couldn’t have happened to a better kid. He’s great to coach; always willing to learn and I love watching him play. He wants the ball and he’s 100% whether he’s got the ball or hitting in defence, as I said he’s great to coach, he’s great in the classroom and he’s just an all-round good kid.”
Patrician Brothers Blacktown 32 (R Jennings 2, S Tonga 2, D Watene-Selezniak, S Folau tries; D Izzard 3, C McGill goals) def. Endeavour Sports High 6 (J Clarke try; L Leilua goal)
Article: Daniel Walsh