NRL premiership winner in TCC’s corner for Payne Cup semi
RUGBY LEAGUE: NRL premiership winner Tony Martin has been helping The Cathedral College players prepare mentally and physically for their Aaron Payne Cup semi-final.
TCC tackle Ignatius Park at 10am Wednesday in Mackay, with the game to be livestreamed on this website.
Kirwan State High and St Patrick’s Mackay clash in the other semi at 11.30am in Townsville, which will also be livestreamed.
TCC will go into the game confident. They know they can beat Ignatius Park – they did it in Round 3 with a stunning come-from-behind effort, scoring 26 unanswered points in the second half.
But they’re also keenly aware the northerners will have their tails up after downing competition favourites Kirwan last week.
Coach Mick Busby said TCC could ill afford to give Ignatius Park a headstart in the semi.
He said his players had to start strongly and put in a full 60-minute performance.
That was something they had been working on with Martin, whose input on all aspects of the game had been invaluable.
Gladstone-born Martin played 69 games for the Melbourne Storm and scored 20 tries, one of them in the team’s 1999 grand final win over St George.
Busby said Martin had also turned his attention to TCC’s edge defence which had been exposed several times, particularly in their loss to Kirwan.
“Tony has a son at the school and has been doing a lot of work with us this year and in previous years as well,” Busby said.
“He’s fantastic with the mindset stuff, getting the players’ heads in the right place.
“This week he has been doing a fair bit of work on our edge defence. Our boys can tackle, it’s just a matter of getting it right and making it a little bit more cohesive.”
Coach Mick Busby’s rundown on his semi-final squad
Germaine Bulsey: Fast Indigenous boy from Palm Island. Third of his family to play for TCC.
Noah Chadwick: Tough winger with good pace.
Lincoln Pickering: Versatile player with a very good defensive technique and fast footwork.
Darcy Biles: Former fullback/half turned backrower. Tireless worker and also College captain.
Jackson Warde: 2016 Queensland Indigenous under-16 representative returning from injury. Bred to play football. Father played for Queensland Crushers and his speed is generated by bloodlines to Ben Barba on his mother’s side.
Zayne Cox: Crafty halfback, also a member of the Australian under-18 touch team.
Brodie Gill: Capras Mal Meninga halfback. Very good organiser.
Riley Boaza: Very strong and mobile forward. Co-captain of the side. Also played both under-18 and under-20 for Capras.
Jai Hansen: Smart hooker. In the Melbourne Storm EPD Academy and Queensland under-15 representative.
Nathan Kleidon: Tall and big middle player. Queensland under-15 representative.
Riley Hall: Tall and big edge back rower. In the Melbourne Storm EPD Academy. Queensland under-15 representative and also member of Queensland under-18 emerging Origin squad.
Tyler Conroy: Smart footballer who plays back row. Queensland under-15 representative where he played five-eighth. Strong defender.
Seth McGilvray: Versatile number 14 with a very good defensive technique.
Angus Gabriel: Small and fast outside back with a lot of versatility. Only in Year 10. Will become a regular run-on player in the coming years. Very energetic player.
Joe Sutton: Worked hard in the off-season to gain selection. Tireless worker.
Joshua Grange: Strong and very fit and fast middle forward with good energy.
Jordan Heke: Very strong, versatile player who is an edge backrower with ability to also play in the middle and in the centres.
Tom Powell: Strong and big middle player. Queensland under-15 representative. Second game back after returning from long injury layoff.
Colby Mole: Willing and tough front rower with strong carries.