Four-try haul for Mount Morgan’s grand final hero
RUGBY LEAGUE: Lachlan Mackay signed off on his schoolboys rugby league career in spectacular fashion.
The 17-year-old bagged four tries in Mount Morgan State High's 28-18 win in the Rockhampton District Secondary Schools Rugby League's Open C grand final.
The 193cm, 110kg centre scored the first and the last points of the game as Mount Morgan claimed the ultimate reward for their unbeaten season.
Mackay, who is in Year 12, was then voted his team's Man of the Match to cap a memorable day.
The hulking hero said he was a "tad nervous" before the decider but that passed as soon as he got his first touch of the footy.
He was thrilled to have played an integral part in the victory.
"I couldn't believe it when the tries just kept coming," he said.
"I've scored a lot of hat-tricks but not four tries.
"I was a bit shocked at first and after the game I was thinking, 'Holy, I've just done that'.
"It meant a lot in my final year of school to get the win and have something pretty special to talk about."
Mackay got his introduction to league at primary school.
"I liked it straight away, just being able to tackle people and hit them without getting into trouble," he joked.
But in all seriousness, his potential was obvious from the get-go. His speed, agility and quick hands made him an ideal fullback, the position he played primarily before his switch to the centres.
He still boasts those same skills and the addition of size and strength have made him a force to be reckoned with.
Mackay has only played in the schoolboys competitions but is now thinking seriously about giving club football a crack.
He's a hard taskmaster. When asked how he'd rate his grand final game, he said: "I probably could have done a bit more."
It's that drive and determination that impressed his coach, Simon Mayne.
"Lachlan's such a big presence on the field but on top of that he's very determined. He wants to get the job done," Mayne said.
"He wants to win and that winning attitude makes him push harder and harder every single time.
"He's never satisfied when he's out on the field, he's always wanting to do more."
The grand final win was a great result for Mayne, who is in his first year at the helm of the Mount Morgan team.
He said the season was about more than football, it was also about fostering a positive supporting culture among the players.
Mayne said the team delivered on both fronts.
"They were very level-headed and disciplined in that game. Rather than being reactive, they just stuck to our plan and looked after their teammates," he said.
"When the final hooter went it was unreal.
"The best part was seeing the boys, some of them who were playing for the first time this season, cheering and celebrating.
"It was really special."