St Brendan’s come out on top of firey Schoolboys clash
He says he wants to be a carpenter but after Saturday’s performance, it would seem the sky is the limit on a future of rugby for St Brendan’s centre Mauga Nona.
Nona, recently moved from full back to Centre, bagged an impressive hat trick in a game that had almost everything and saw St Brendan’s walk away with a 30-20 win in the Rockhampton District Secondary Schools Rugby League Open A grand final against The Cathedral College.
St Brendan’s came out firing, only taking three minutes until Jett Hill found the line after a series of dropped catches and blunders from TCC deep inside their defensive half.
It was a tough exchange for the better half of the period until Laish Salam broke through again for St Brendan’s.
TCC’s Jai Hansen answered the call and crossed the chalk in the 22nd minute followed by a straight kick from Brodie Gill, putting The Titans back in the game.
Three minutes later, Nona made his first mark of many on the score board taking multiple TCC defenders with him as he pushed for the try.
The two sides went back to the sheds with a 16-6 lead in favour of St Brendan’s.
TCC returned from the break with refreshed heart, turning on some deep, penetrating runs in offence and increased tackling pressure in defence.
Unable to convert the pressure into points, Nona broke through and stacked on another four points to the growing margin.
Just as the game appeared to be slipping away from the Titans, Carsen Huth scored with another conversion from Gill.
Both teams put their walls up for the following ten minutes until St Brendan’s found the line once again with Peyton Jenkins finally coming good with the boot.
Nona completed his hat trick minutes later pushing the score out to a daunting 30-12.
TCC made their frustrations known as spot fires began to flare up after stoppages and the sin bin began to fill.
TCC’s Jarvis Wedel secured a try and heightened tensions reached boiling point with almost every player on the feild drawn in to a heated altercation.
One player from each side was sin binned and another two were sent off for the remainder of the game.
Play was stopped momentarily as the boys simmered down and Gill took his kick to no avail.
It was too little, too late for TCC as the final score card read 30-20.
For TCC coach Mick Busby, St Brendan’s in his words were simply “too good”.
He said St Brendan’s pace and play off the ground got the better of the Titans.
He praised the efforts of Nona saying his man of the match award was well-deserved.
Busby was hopeful his team would bounce back the following year as only four players will be graduating this year, leaving a solid playing group.
There was plenty for the TCC boys to be proud of according to Busby despite falling short.
“No matter what the score is, you just need to be able to walk off and be proud of what you’ve done,” he said.
“And that’s what they did.”
An elated Nona after receiving man of the match in his last school rep game said TCC came out strong but were able to be “held down” by St Brendan’s play.
He said his team were expecting the resurgence after the half time break and were ready to hold off the increased intensity of TCC.
Going forward, Nona said he had hopes to either play in the CQ Capras under 20’s side or fulfil his lifelong dream of becoming a carpenter.
“If footy comes my way, I’ll take footy,” he said.