PAYNE CUP: Kununurra kid brings X-factor for St Brendan’s
HE’S THE KID from Kununurra who burst on to the Aaron Payne Cup scene with St Brendan’s last week.
Matt Hill, 16, debuted on the wing in the Round 4 clash with competition heavyweights Kirwan State High.
He didn’t take a backward step in the team’s 24-16 loss and his stunning performance cemented his place in St Brendan’s starting line-up for Tuesday’s showdown with The Cathedral College.
The teams will face off at 5pm at Browne Park and the game will be livestreamed on this website.
The Cowboys Challenge game at 4pm between the same two schools will also be livestreamed.
St Brendan’s are yet to have a win in the premier schoolboys competition and would love nothing more than to finish their 2020 campaign on a high.
TCC are in the finals mix, having had three wins and a loss in their four games, and will be determined to keep their momentum going.
St Brendan’s coach Scott Minto is expecting a serious challenge tomorrow but knows his boys will be up for it.
He believes Hill can provide the X-factor and said the young gun would be given a “roving commission” against TCC.
“I want to let the reins loose on him and let him hunt around for the footy because when’s he around the ball he’s very dangerous,” Minto said.
“I knew he would handle it (against Kirwan) but I just didn’t think he would go that well.
“He surprised me. He was very strong - very good in contact, and his awareness and his ability to keep his feet was very impressive.
“His ability with the high ball, I’ve not seen a schoolkid like him. He’ll go up above them and catch it – he’s like Roosters player Daniel Tupou.”
Hill is a regular in the champion Yeppoon Swans AFL senior team, and Minto said he was one of those “freakish athletes” who would excel in any sport.
“I’m looking forward to seeing him go around a bit more,” Minto said.
“He’s going to be dynamic for us next year; get him at fullback or somewhere like that and he’ll be lethal.”
Minto said two other positional changes last week paid dividends.
Coby Williamson’s switch from centre to lock proved a master stroke, as did co-captain Jake Baigrie’s move from back row to front row.
Minto is excited for Tuesday’s game, knowing the local derby always brings out something special in both teams.
“It’s the rivalry that everyone likes to see and hopefully we both turn out and it’s a good game of footy,” he said.