Grammar test ‘can’t come quick enough’ for St Pat’s
SO ANXIOUS are they for a taste of competitive rugby league that St Pat's teammates were arguing over who would get to wear the GPS tracking units at this afternoon's penultimate training run.
Wednesday's Aaron Payne qualifier is their light at the end of the tunnel - a reward for patience and testament to their passion.
This battle means more than most.
After months without footy and barely two weeks returned to contact training, Rockhampton Grammar School looms as the final hurdle between St Pat's and a place in the prestigious north Queensland schoolboys tournament.
The Daily Mercury will livestream the match, set to kick off at noon on Wednesday, July 22, on our website.
For Chad Buckby and his charges the equation is simple - it's win and in.
Losing would mean a handful of scratch matches to end the year. It's not a way Buckby wants some of his promising Year 12 students to finish up their final year of school footy.
"The last couple of weeks it's all they've been talking about. Wednesday couldn't come quick enough for them," Buckby said of his group.
"It's the first time they'll be out on a football field; first time they'll get to tackle someone in quite a while, and they've got a lot of pent up frustration they're ready to channel.
"This is a massive motivation for them, knowing if they lose they're out. They just want to represent their school and play footy with their mates - something they haven't been able to do until now."
St Pat's strength is in their depth, Buckby says. He knows what he will get out of every player, 1-32.
That was his message to the media and the same one he handed down to his players, as he named the team of 19 that will go to war on Wednesday tasked with the school's Aaron Payne Cup survival.
"We've got a really balanced squad," the coach said.
"All 32 blokes could step up and I know they wouldn't let us down. We have depth across the board in all positions, which is something we don't usually have (at St Pat's)."