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KODY MORRISON - MSHS V's KIRWAN SHS year 9 2007 - Photo : Mackay SHS
KODY MORRISON - MSHS V's KIRWAN SHS year 9 2007 - Photo : Mackay SHS
MSHS year 9's with John Livingston Shield after defeating Kirwan SHS Photo : Mackay SHS
MSHS year 9's with John Livingston Shield after defeating Kirwan SHS Photo : Mackay SHS

The Mackay State High School Rugby League Academy will hit the ground running in 2008 when three teams and seven staff attend the Clairvaux College Rugby League 7’s tournament in Brisbane this weekend.

The Clairvaux 7’s is a state-wide one day carnival which brings together many of Queensland’s and Northern NSW’s best schoolboy Rugby League players from Townsville to Lismore.

This is the third year that Mackay High has entered the competition, this time entering two open teams and an Under 15 squad.

Academy head coach Don Saunders views the carnival as a useful lead in to the regular season by providing some early training focus for the key attacking players involved.

Although the Open and Under 15 teams are stacked with potentially potent attacking weapons the recent wet weather has reduced training opportunities for all the touring party.

However, Saunders is confident that the players can return home with some good results from the fiercely contested carnival and is looking to some new talent, fresh to the Academy in 2008 to cement their positions with strong performances.

Three new players to come under scrutiny will be Peter Hassal a Northern Territory rep and AIS scholarship holder who has just arrived from Darwin, Harley Smith, a Darling Downs rep and former Mustangs player and blockbusting prop Andrew Ward an ex St Pats and Mackay representative.

2008 is shaping up as a very busy year for the Rugby League Academy with teams again participating in many games at home, in Townsville, Rockhampton, and Brisbane and on the Gold Coast.

Mackay High teams are again expected to figure prominently in the Cowboy’s sponsored North Queensland Under 15 Challenge and the Open North Queensland Super 8 competitions.

Mackay High are defending champions in the U/15 competition and after reaching the state quarterfinals of the Arrive Alive Cup last year, expectations of the school’s open team are understandably high.

The school is again looking forward to welcoming more English rugby league exchange students from Wakefield for a six week stay midseason, around the time of the Secondary Schools Titans Cup to be played on the Gold Coast where two school teams are expected to participate.

Planning continues for the 2009 UK tour following last year’s successful inaugural tour. Coming up in the near future are trial games, against Kirwan SHS and possibly St Brendan’s to be played in Mackay.

Two Kirwan High Open teams and an Under15 team will visit to play on the school oval next Wednesday.

The emerging football rivalry between Townsville’s Kirwan High and Mackay High will again feature through a series of Year eight and nine games later in the year. Mackay High is again expecting to inject a record number of players and teams into the local inter school competition this year as the Academy classes bulge in all age groups.

Player attending the Clairvaux College Rugby League 7’s include:
Open Squad
Marmin Barba, Ian Brown, Jack Clark, Leon Curry, Rogan Dean, Beven Healy, Peter Hassal, Assan Munro, Michael Murphy, Kelvin Nielson Patrick O’Hanlon, Callan Peach, Kailem Perkins, Dermot Pryor, Jordan Richardson, Buchanan Rawhiti, Daniel Simeon, Harley Smith, Brad and Daniel Simpson, Dylan Sadd, Dylan Smith, Cameron Tracey, Matt Tandy, Andrew Ward.
U15 Squad
Matt Ahern, Dylan Bell, Ben Carter, Corben Duffy, Josh Doherty, Aisa Munro, Kody Morrison, Daniel Matsen, Ian Read, Taylor Ridland, Brendan Treston, Jordan White.
Patrick O'Hanlon has a bright future
Mackay SHS's Patrick O'Hanlon has a bright future

THE Eels have snapped up promising young Mackay rugby league prospect Patrick O'Hanlon.

O'Hanlon, 16, was also named the Mackay State High School rugby league academy representative player of the year last week.

He said he was looking forward to joining Parramatta.

"I've signed up for a two year deal, with a third year option," he said.

He'll join the Eels for three weeks of pre-season training in January, but the strapping young back-rower will complete his senior schooling at MSHS in 2008 before joining the Parramatta under 20 side the following year.

He'll also be part of the school's senior rugby league academy side in 2008, which he predicted could make the state and national finals.

MSHS teams were part of the inaugural Super 8s competition last season, featuring the top eight rugby league schools in the north, and O'Hanlon said the team benefited from the experience, reaching the semi-final.

"It was a good standard of competition and we were playing above our ages," he said.

"Next year I think we can make the state and national finals, we've just got to keep training hard and do the pre-season work, only we can do that."

Former Broncos front rower Peter Ryan, who is now defensive coach at the NRL club, attended the presentation night and earlier worked with coaches and players at a training session.

"He talked about discipline and was very impressed with the academy's success," academy coach Don Saunders said.

Eliott's family will be even bigger Cowboys fans next season.

Eliott, 17, has signed a three-year deal with North Queensland and most likely will be playing in the centres for the NRL club's under 20 side in curtain-raisers to Cowboys games during the 2008 season.

It's a big week for Eliott, who attended the Mackay State High School rugby league academy presentations on Tuesday night and school's formal at the Grand Mercure last night, and leaves for Townsville to link up with the Cowboys on Sunday.

"My mum (Andrea Dearden) and sister (Cassie, 18) are coming up," he said yesterday.

His other siblings, Maddie, 13, Josh 5, and Tom, who is in grade 1, are all big Cowboys fans, so he should have plenty of support at Dairy Farmers Stadium when the under 20 side runs out in the competition's inaugural season.

He will be joined in under 20s at the Cowboys by Proserpine product Chris Faust, and the two could be opposing another MSHS academy player Patrick O'Hanlon, who will link with Sydney club Parramatta in 2009 after finishing senior in Mackay.

O'Hanlon, who was named the academy's representative player of the year, has signed a two-year contract with the Eels with an option for a further year. Eliott has already started preparing for next season, joining training with new Queensland Cup team the Mackay Cutters, who will be a feeder side for the Cowboys.

He took part in the 'beep' test at the Cutters' first training run at the JRL grounds on Saturday, finishing a creditable 12th, and has been attending training sessions this week at Solutions gym in Evans Avenue.

It's been a big year for Eliott, highlights including winning the Mercury Cup under 17 premiership with Brothers playing at five-eighth, switching to centre for the club's under 19 team in their grand final loss to Souths, and making his debut in A grade on the wing, soon after his 17th birthday.

He played Foley Shield for Mackay Sea Eagles and for the North Queensland Marlins in the state championships, and was part of the Queensland side for the national championships.

He joined the MSHS rugby league academy after moving to Mackay from Toowoomba, and hasn't looked back.

"Before I came to Mackay I had nowhere near the level of fitness that I have now," he said.

But it hasn't all been games at the academy, which also stresses academic achievements.

He has been fitting in a carpentry apprenticeship with Beckside Construction two days a week while attending school, and will continue working five days a week in Townsville, training in mornings and afternoons and on weekends.

"With the under 20 competition, you have to have a job. Only the A grade players are allowed not to work," he said.

Mackay SHS & Wade Deacon HS after the great match COMPLETE TOUR WRAP

This 2007 tour to the United Kingdom has been an opportunity for the participating Year 10 and 11 Mackay State High School Rugby League Academy students to enjoy a special experience that rarely becomes available to rugby league players or indeed sportspeople in general.. Read it all

Dylan Sadd makes a clean break on his way to the line
Tour Log By : Bill Esau

Friday 28.09.07 (cool , fine with a light cloud)
We travelled on a council bus to visit the St Helens RLF club this morning. We were met there by Gordon Pennington from the clubs support staff.

Gordon was fantastic with the boys talking with them about all facets of the Saints success over the last few years. Gordon brought out three of the major trophies that the club holds at the moment, the Challenge Cup, the World Club Champions Cup and the BBC Team of the Year Trophy.

The touring party were all able to look closely and get their pictures taken with all the silverware. Gordon then took the boys to the player’s dressing room, the weights room and out into the stands.. Learn More
Rick Stuart says Brett Kimmorly say
Paul Gallen  says

The Cronulla Sharks took time away from their
Grand Final Lunch today to show their support to
the Mackay High footy team


Paul Gallen says " GO MACKAY HIGH SCHOOL  
The boys line up for the Beatles Story
The boys line up for the Beatles Story
Tour Log By Bill Esau

Thursday 27.09.07
(colder over night 6C, fine day with a light cloud cover 15C)

We had a short team stroll around the neighbourhood after breakfast this morning to walk out some soreness from the Castleford game.

The boys with injuries seem to be moving around freely but didn’t come on the walk. The boys always attract a lot of attention when they move as a group in their academy tour clothing.

Robert and Dylan Sadd were taken for a precautionary visit to the Hospital last night.

Dylan has some minor chest bruising and Robert is now taking some anti-inflammatory tablets. Both seem to be in good spirits this morning.

Dylan Smith received some knees in the back during the game and Jordan had some bruising on his hand, both should be fine for the next game.

We travelled the short distance to Liverpool today with Jack, our best bus driver yet.. Learn More
Callan Peach on his way to the line
Callan Peach on his way to the line
Tour Log By Bill Esau

Wednesday 26.09.07
(fine and clear – cool morning, showers with a cold stiff breeze in the afternoon )

We travelled the motorways to Castleford to play Castleford High today.

Boys were in good spirits after a training session on the St Cuthbert’s oval in fresh conditions this morning. Looking forward to the contest, Patrick pulled up with a sore shoulder after the last game and will sit out today’s game.

Buchanan needed to ice a knee after the Outward game but seems to be moving freely again. Robert complained of a groin pain after training and will start today’s game off the bench.

Lots of us have been having trouble with phone cards, if you haven’t heard from your son this might be the reason. We are also having problems with computer access for the boys at Lindisfarne. They might get to use them before the end of the week.

I have organised tickets for everyone to Friday night’s big qualification semi-final between St Helens and Leeds being played at St Helens.

The two teams are one and two on the ladder with the winner going straight into the final. The club (Saints) has been very helpful in providing some discounted tickets... Learn More
Monday 24.09.07
(Overnight rain, cold morning, scattered showers during the day with heavy cloud cover, windy)
The team had a light skills session on a synthetic playing surface session after breakfast. We left Lindisfarne on our trusty Selwyns Coach at 11:00 to complete the one and a half hour journey to Wakefield in plenty of time for the game at Outwood Grange College.

The boys were treated like visiting rock stars with girls mobbing them and even squealing as they exited the bus? After a light lunch in the school canteen the boys headed to the changing room then across a footbridge over the nearby motorway to the school’s lush playing fields.

Although there was a little light rain before the game it held off during the contest which was only marred by a cool strong wind that played havoc with kicking in general play. The game was played in good spirits with both teams displaying straight hard running and punishing defence.. Learn More

21.09.07 Left Mackay Air Port at 6:40
The shenanigans started early on Mackay High Rugby League Academy’s inaugural tour of the the UK.

On the flight from Mackay to Brisbane Shane organised the hostess to broadcast a birthday call for Gordon Reid’s “50th” birthday, Gordon is well short of that milestone.

Rob ‘Cowboy’ McLeod had a few problems with the escalators on the way to the International Airport, he obviously needs more practice mounting those tricky contraptions.

Everybody tucked into an early lunch at the airport waiting to go though customs. Steve from rang to report the setup of the message board and to encourage family’s to leave messages.

Just visit ourfootyteam.comand follow the story links to find the message form.

After eight hours in the air we landed in Singapore.. Learn More
Mackay shs rla farewell sign MACKAY ACADEMY TO PUNISH POMS

Tour details to follow today.


We will have a message board to you to send your best wishes to the boys on tour. (Thursday arvo')

Mackay’s Glen Ella State School at Raiders HQ
PICTURED: Students from Mackay’s Glen Ella State School at Raiders HQ

Students from Glen Ella State School in the Queensland town of Mackay visited Raiders HQ on Tuesday afternoon, to have a look at the inside workings of an NRL club and meet the Coach Neil Henry.

The group is in Canberra for a week long look at the Nation's Capital, and decided they would take the opportunity to see how an NRL club goes about their day to day activities.

Raiders Coach Neil Henry spoke to the children about how his team prepares for each match and the training program they undertake each week, and the children responded by asking him questions on what its like to be an NRL Coach.

The School’s Principal Stephen Auer said it was a great opportunity for the children to see the way a rugby league club works, as their location in Mackay makes it hard for them to do so otherwise.

"Because we are four hours from Townsville many of the children have been to games before, but they’ve never had the chance to look inside an NRL club’s walls," Mr Auer said. "Most of them are either Cowboys or Broncos fans, but I think a few of them may now have the Raiders as their second team."

The children finished their tour by getting a Raiders show bag, where they received a drink bottle, team poster, stickers and other Raiders related items.

MACKAY State High players were doing cartwheels after stunning the more fancied Ignatius Park College 22-16 in their Arrive Alive Cup North Queensland semi-final at the Junior Rugby League Grounds last night.

THE reputation of Mackay State High School's rugby league academy rose another notch yesterday when its under 15 side dominated the final of the North Queensland Cowboys Challenge.

Mackay made a lightning start to the final against Cairns State High School at Townsville, leading 18-0 after 15 minutes before running out 28-8 winners.

"They played well right across the park," coach Don McDermid said.

"They stuck to their game plan in attack and had a really good completion rate. There were only three dropped balls in the whole game."

Former Cowboys star Peter Jones named lock Daniel Simpson as man of the match, and McDermid singled out other players, including centre Rogan Dean, halves Dylan Smith and Leon Curry and fullback Buchanan Rawhitti.

"One of the best things for us is that three of the six forwards in this side are 14, and have another year in under 15s," McDermid said.

"We've got great depth in our teams."

The MSHS open team reached the northern division final of the Arrive Alive Cup this season, and with strong depth in the other teams the academy is building a reputation to rival other schools in the north.

The school's under 14 side beat Townsville's Kirwan high recently, and the Year 8 team won the local competition.

"We get lots of comments from the public about how professional they are.

"They got out of the bus, warmed up for 10 minutes and were 18-0 ahead after 15 minutes.

"We teach them about how to approach the game and we work on things like game plans and attack structure."

MACKAY State High School's rise as a rugby league force continues in Townsville today when its under 15 side contests the final of the Super 8s Queensland Country Challenge against Cairns.

The Super 8s, introduced this year, pits the top eight secondary schools in the north against each other and gives players an opportunity to experience a higher standard of competition.

Coach Don McDermid said the MSHS side had improved through the tournament after a slow start with a draw against Mirani, later beating Townsville side Kirwan and Charters Towers combined schools to finish top of the pool.

"We don't know a lot about Cairns but we do know they've got quite a few good players," he said yesterday.

"They'll be tough to beat, they've got a large number of rep players in the Peninsula side, and they beat teams like Ignatius Park and Abergowrie."

McDermid said the MSHS side included a strong group of individual players who were working well together as a team.

"We've got a large number of 14-year-olds coming through, we're not just dominated by 15s," he said.

Among players to watch he tipped improving centre Rogan Dean, who won man of the match in the local schoolboys finals and scored eight tries in four matches.

Halfback Eylan Smith was proving to be a great distributor of the ball, and five-eighth Leon Curry, a Queensland representative, was adding spark to the backs.

Ian Read, a fullback or forward, and second rower Matt Ahern were among other players who had improved during the season. The match kicks off at 1pm.
Mackay State High School face the might of St. Brendans Yapoon today (Photo : ourfooty media) MACKAY SHS RUGBY LEAGUE ACADEMY A HUGE SUCCESS

The Mackay SHS Rugby League Academy has proven an outstanding success this year in spite of Wednesday result at Browne Park, Rockhampton.

Don Saunders has taken Mackay SHS to the very top of the footy world in Queensland when Mackay qualified for the semi finals of this years Arrive alive Cup.

Congratulations to all invloved and well done to the boys who turn up to training, listen carefully, and go out onto the football field with the right attitude.

MACKAY SHS went down in a fast paced, action packed game at Browne Park on Wednesday afternoon to the star studded PBC side.

Palm Beach have Kevin Proctor who has again been selected in the Australian Schoolboys team for the second year in a row. .. Full Report
AAC semi
MACKAY SHS OPEN RUGBY LEAGUE team celebtate after defeating IPC in their Arrive alive Cup QLD Semi Final
Kirwan SHS get it on with St. Brendans College at Mackay (Photo : ourfooty media & MSHSRLA)
Kirwan SHS get it on with St. Brendans College at Mackay (Photo : ourfooty media & MSHSRLA)

MACKAY State High's open schoolboys side faces an acid test today when they confront Super 8 champions Ignatius Park College at the Junior Rugby League Grounds.

After disposing of Mackay adversaries St Patrick's College 32-6 in the quarter-finals, MSHS will confront the division's most highly-rated team in an Arrive Alive Cup North Queensland semi-final.

Ignatius Park finished first in the Super 8 series, involving the top school sides from North Queensland, after defeating cross-town rival Kirwan State High 1-0 in a gripping final played in atrocious conditions.

The dangerous Townsville outfit then took apart Bowen State High 30-6 in the first knock-out round of the Arrive Alive Cup.

But MSHS's head coach Don Saunders reckons his team is a fair chance to upset the northern rivals. "If they don't turn up to play we're going to get them," he said.

"We're not going into it with any pressure on us at all.

"The boys have got plenty of confidence and motivation and they're on a bit of a roll at the moment."

It's been a while since his side last experienced the sour taste of defeat, which was an 18-point loss to Kirwan on May 8.

And Saunders believes he's got the troops to muster a courageous victory. With Queensland Open Schoolboy representative Pat O'Hanlon and Queensland under 17 centre Steve Eliott in their ranks, MSHS could prove a handful for the renowned Ignatius Park defence.

But the Townsville side boasts several stars of their own, including young sensation Ray Thompson.

The deceptive halfback has played for the Young Guns this season.

Chris Faust, a bustling back-rower from Proserpine will also be one to watch out for.

Saunders, who is confident in his side's offensive abilities, said he hoped they would construct a brick wall on their own line to keep Ignatius Park at bay.

"We defended really well against St Pat's and we know that if we can do that again, the attack will look after itself," he said.

Flyer Bevan Healy is set to miss the vital clash with a shoulder injury while there are a few players battling to be fit in time for the 5.30pm match.

It will be preceded by the other semi-final between Kirwan State High and Confraternity Shield champions St Brendan's College (Yeppoon).

Kirwan State High is coming off a 26-12 victory over Woree State High (Cairns) while St Brendan's loom as the team to beat after thrashing Abergowrie College (Ingham) 50-0. q Arrive Alive Cup North Queensland semi-finals at Mackay JRL Grounds today: Kirwan State High v St Brendan's at 4.30pm, Ignatius Park College v Mackay State High at 5.30pm.
The Presentations were presented by some Rugby League Legends including Mr. Terry Hayes
The Presentations were presented by some Rugby League Legends including Mr. Terry Hayes
MDSSRL Finals 2007
Mackay High Rugby League Academy Fill Trophy Cabinet

Mackay and District Secondary Schools Rugby League Finals were completed at the Mackay JRL on Wednesday nights in all age groups and divisions.

The Mackay State High Schools Rugby League Academy was the big winner on the night taking out four of the five shields on offer including the prestigious Terry Hayes Shield for the district division one open champions.

This game was also being played as an Arrive Alive Cup game with the winner moving through to a state quarter final spot against Townsville’s Ignatius Park College.

Ben Buchloz thanks Mr. Mick Aprile
Ben Buchloz thanks Mr. Mick Aprile

The finals began with an Under 15 Division Two game between two country schools, Sarina High and Moranbah High.

Although Moranbah had finished on top of the table, beating Sarina High in their last encounter, the Sarina Boys continued their impressive finals form defeating Moranbah High in convincing fashion 32 – 8 to win the inaugural match for the Mick Aprile Shield presented by Mick.

Sarina High dominated throughout the contest with eventual Cowboys player of the match Ben Bucholz providing another strong performance while leading his team to victory.

Mackay High began the finals full of running with the Year 8 first team overpowering Holy Spirit College 42 – 0 in a dominant display. Although HSC lifted their performance noticeably in the second half they had few answers to Mackay High’s powerful ball runners and swarming defence.

Cowboy’s player of the match for the winning team was hard running forward Kelton Dorante while for HSC Ben Alexander was rewarded as their best on field.

In the Open Division Two final for the Col Grosskreutz Shield, top of the table Mackay High clashed with Sarina High in a hard fought match that boiled over on several occasions.

Byron Mooney Blazer winner with Alf
Captain Byron Mooney Blazer winner with Alf

The Mackay High team strengthened with the inclusion of two English Rugby League exchange students encountered a fired-up Sarina team that toiled hard all the way to the final whistle.

Eventual Alf Abdullah Blazer winner, captain and lock forward Byron Mooney just shaded three try hero, speedster Assan Munro, busy rake Luke Saunders and diminutive centre Lee Brickwood for the honour.

The final Score line of 18 – 16 reflected the tight contest and the defensive commitment of both teams. Sarina players Ben Bucholz, Kris Zurvas and Kile Schuler all made impressive appearances.

Col was out of Mackay for the game but was represented by his two sons Jason and Brett at the presentation.

In the first of the division one finals for the Under 15 Booker Primrose Shield a combined Mirani High and Pioneer High team took on a Mackay High Team eager for redemption after a lack lustre 20 all draw at their last meeting. Mackay High applied consistent pressure on their opposition throughout the contest to close out the match 28 – 16.

Pat O'Hanlon & Marmin Barba with Mr. Terry Hayes and Shield
Captains Pat O'Hanlon & Marmin Barba with Mr. Terry Hayes and Shield

Well deserved Cowboy’s player of the match was centre Rogan Dean, after the gifted ball runner creating numerous headaches for the opposition throughout the contest.

For the successful team captain and pivot Leon Curry, fullback Buchanan Rawhiti and makeshift prop Silas Bickey also made their presence felt. Doug Knight presented the shield and player award.

The combined team failed to capitalise on many attacking opportunities during the game, thwarted by a well drilled and enthusiastic Mackay High defensive structure.

In the main game, the division one final for the Terry Hayes Shield a torrid contest ensued albeit with the St Pat’s team lacking any answers to the Mackay High Teams power and speed.

During the game the SPC players defended manfully under an increasing weight of opposition possession.

Their desperation was often rewarded but ultimately they failed to halt the steady march of points to their opponents.

St Pat’s were kept scoreless until well into the second half when Australian representative Ryan Williamson crossed after a sustained period of attacking pressure.

Mick Shew Shield 2007 winners MSHS Year 8
Mick Shew Shield 2007 winners MSHS Year 8

The powerful Williamson had been denied points minutes earlier after being held up in a remarkable one on one defensive effort by Mackay High centre Steven Elliott.

The half time score was 14 – 0 to Mackay High and the final score, a comfortable 32 – 6 victory.

For Mackay High player of the match and Alf Abdullah blazer winner Patrick O’Hanlon and his equally impressive forward partner Rob ‘Cowboy’ McLeod stood out, both were potent weapons in attack and defence.

During the game half Marmin Barba, winger Beven Healy, hooker Trent Heading and centre Cameron Treacy brought parts of large crowd to their feet with moments of attacking brilliance culminating in tries.

After the game Coach Don Saunders praised his young teams focus and commitment.

Mackay State High School now goes on to play a State quarterfinal in the Arrive Alive Cup, possibly in Mackay next week.

The other NQ quarterfinal will be played between Kirwan SHS Townsville and St Brendan’s College Yeppoon on the same day.
Don Saunders - Mackay SHS RLA Head Coach
Mackay SHS head coach Don Saunders in Sydney with the QLD U15's (Photo : ourfooty media)

MACKAY State High's open schoolboys side will be determined to rub salt into the wounds of traditional adversaries St Patrick's College when the two sides clash for the Terry Hayes Shield at the Junior Rugby League Grounds tonight.

The South Mackay side got the better of their cross-town rivals last time they collided, claiming a gutsy victory in round one of the Super 8s series in May.

For Mackay State High, the 20-16 win was the catalyst for a successful season foray.

"We played a great game against them last time and it laid the platform for our Super 8 competition," head coach Don Saunders said after his team's impressive run in the coveted North Queensland series.

St. Patricks
6 - 32 Mackay

But Saunders said his troops would not be using their last hit-out against St Patrick's as motivation for another big effort this time around and he expects the inner-city side to pose a stern challenge.

"A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then," he said. "It's been a long season and both teams have played plenty of games and had their fair share of injuries."

Tonight's Mackay District Secondary Schools grand final doubles as a North Queensland Arrive Alive Cup quarter-final.

After finishing third in the Super 8s, MSHS will confront sixth placed St Patrick's for a berth in the semi-finals against either Ignatius Park College or Bowen State High. With Queensland Open Schoolboys back-rower Pat O'Hanlon and Queensland Under 16 player Rob McLeod in their ranks, MSHS will be fancied by many to progress.

But St Patrick's College, Mackay's customary rugby league powerhouse, is out for revenge following their last encounter.

"I think the boys are ready for a bit of payback. They haven't forgotten what happened," the school's league co-ordinator Kevin Blakey said.

His side experienced a mixed Super 8s campaign before being knocked out in the group stage of the coveted Confraternity Shield competition at Ipswich in June.

An early exit from the Shield proved a bitter blow to a side which prides itself on consistently performing well at the annual independent secondary schools event.
Luke Saunders, James Staszewsky & Lee Brickwood
Luke Saunders, James Staszewsky & Lee Brickwood, all 16 will be attending Mackay High this term. Photo : MSHSRLA / ourfooty media
We know that Mackay High’s Rugby League Academy Students love their football but no more than three English schoolboys who have travelled from the other side of the globe to study and play.

Luke Saunders, Lee Brickwood and James Staszewsky, all 16 will be attending Mackay High this term, training and playing with the schools Academy teams and playing for Magpies in the local club competition.

Luke, Lee and James are all living with the families of Academy players Jace Sainsbury, Trent Heading and Kelvin Nielsen.

All three boys attend Outwood Grange College in Wakefield and play Rugby League for the Stanley Rangers in the Yorkshire League.

Luke is a skilful hooker or scrum half and Lee is an illusive centre who scored an impressive try in his first game for the school on Wednesday night.

Unfortunately James, a tall, hard charging second rower, broke his arm in a game for Magpies and is unlikely to play again while he is here.

Back home Luke and Lee follow Super League Team the Leeds Rhinos while James supports the Wakefield Wildcats. Lee likes the fact that he can watch NRL games while he is here on free to air television and his favoured NRL club is Parramatta.

James says that Australia is a lot different to his expectations thinking he would have seen a lot more kangaroos by now.

All three boys agree that our lifestyle is a lot more easygoing than life at home but also agree that the football is a bit faster.

All the boys have enjoyed their adventure immensely so far and are impressed with the weather which they enjoy because it is so ‘warm’.

MACKAY DISTRICT SECONDARY SCHOOL CHALLENGELee and James think that the Mackay High Academy team will do well on their England tour in September.

James says that particularly in the north of England, the colder, harder fields will suit our up-tempo style of play.

While they are in Australia the boys will be visiting Townsville, Sydney, the Gold Coast and Fraser Island and will attend two NRL games as guests of the NQ Cowboys and the Sydney Roosters.

A group of Under 16 Mackay High Rugby League Academy players will be touring England and France in September, playing games against school and club academy teams in London and the northern counties including the boys’ team from Outwood Grange College, a school with over two thousand students. ourfootyteam logo HOME
All Mackay District Secondary Schools Rugby League semi-final games were competed at the JRL and Abbott Park grounds last night to confirm the finalists in all divisions.

In the Year 8 division Mackay SHS and Holy Spirit College will play off for the Mick Shew Shield after Mackay High 1 defeated Mercy College and HSC defeated Sarina High.

In the Under 15 Division 2 competition the finalists will be Moranbah High and Sarina High as Moranbah scraped home against a hard charging Mackay North High team. In a fascinating contest that went into ‘golden point’ extra time with the teams locked at 8 all, Moranbah High scrambled home following a scoreless extra period, taking the honours by being the first team to score in the game.

Try scorers for Mackay North were Trent Bell and Chris Tattersall with Moranbah High’s Cohen Crispin and Cody McLean crossing the line.

In the other U/15 Division 2 match Sarina High ( Bill Green, Jake Wyper 2, David Jorgensen, Ryan Clark, Ben Bucholz 2) overwhelmed the young Mackay High 2 team with a 38 – 8 victory.

The Division 2 Open final will be played between Mackay High 2 and Sarina High. Mackay High 2 were full of running in their 50 – 0 win over Mackay North High.

In the win Assan Munro, Andrew Pannowitz and Richard Kay scored doubles and two of Mackay High’s three 16 year old English Rugby League exchange students, Luke Saunders at hooker and Lee Brickwood playing in the centres had impressive games.

A very willing contest was witnessed in the other open semi with Sarina High finishing better to record a 28 – 20 victory over Mirani High.

u/15 Sarina High player Ben Bucholz proved to be the difference between the two sides backing up the the older age group to score the match winning try and goal.

Dean Sliwa, Kyle Schuler, Kris Zurvas, Curtis Smith also registered points for Sarina High. Next Wednesday night will also see the final Super 8 matches between the Combined Mirani and Pioneer High team and Mackay High 1 in under 15, playing for the Mick Shew Shield, and St Patrick’s College and Mackay High’s Open firsts playing for the Terry Hayes Shield.

Close contests are expected between these teams, the last time they met Mackay High Opens recorded a narrow win over St Pat’s and the U/15 match concluded in a hard fought draw.
MDSSRL Semi-Final Games for Week 2 -Term 3 Wednesday 18.07.07
*All games to be played at JRL and Abbott Park Grounds Mackay
YEAR 8 - Wed 18.07.07 4:15pm Abbott Park 1 YEAR 8 - 5:15pm Abbott Park 1
UNDER 15's - 4:15pm JRL 3 UNDER 15 - 6:15pm JRL 3
SSHS 38 - 8 MSHS
OPEN - 5:15pm JRL 3 OPENS - 7:30pm JRL 3
MDSSRL Final Games for Week 3 Term 3

Wednesday 25.07.07

*All games to be played at JRL Grounds Mackay

Year 8 - 4:15pm JRL 2 U/15 DIV. 2 - 4:15pm JRL 3
1 Vs 2
1 Vs 2
U/15 DIV. 1 - 6:15pm JRL 3 OPEN DIV. 2 - 5:15pm JRL 3
Combined Vs MSHS 1
1 Vs 2
OPEN DIV. 1 - 7:30pm JRL 3  

PAT O'Hanlon has been touted as "the most marketable 16-year-old footballer in the country" after the young rugby league sensation was thrust into the Queensland under 18 schoolboys side.

The Mackay State High student has the potential to crack the big time, according to the school academy's head coach Don Saunders.

"Every NRL club is chasing him," he said after the promising back-rower joined fellow Mackay prospect Ryan Williamson in the state squad at Townsville for this week's national championships.

Saunders believes the former Australian under 15 player has all the right attributes to go "as far as he wants to".

"He's got every chance of making it. He's physical, has got the right attitude and has plenty of ability."

According to Saunders, the most significant feature of O'Hanlon is his refreshing approach to the game.

"His priority is his schooling and he's a very low-maintenance player," he said.

"He's very consistent. He turns up to training every time and does all the little things right."

The Queensland under 15 schoolboys coach believes O'Hanlon will benefit from playing at this week's tournament despite having to muscle up against peers who are two years older.

"It's a tremendous achievement for someone who is only in Year 11," he said. "He'll come back a much better player because he's up against the open schoolboys.

"It's more remarkable because he's not a winger; he's mixing it with them in the engine room."

Although O'Hanlon weighs in at about 95kg and 184cm, the rugged ball-runner is facing some bruising and battle-hardened competitors at the national titles.

But after making a damaging impact in the state side's first game on Monday, O'Hanlon said he was getting the most out of the carnival, which attracts the top young talents in the country.

"It was a pretty intense game," the boom youngster said after Queensland opened its account with a 24-6 victory against arch-rivals New South Wales Combined High Schools.

"It was a good chance to get a feel for the game. I'm here for the experience and it's great to play against these sorts of players," O'Hanlon said.

The Mackay Brothers dynamo said he was rapt to be called into the team following injuries to two key players during last Thursday's lead-up match between Queensland and New South Wales Combined High Schools in Mackay.

On that occasion the Maroons were beaten 18-12 by the Blues, but the northerners were able to turn that result around with an inspiring performance on Monday.

O'Hanlon stamped his mark on the game with a 20-minute spell off the bench.

"He made a couple of line breaks for us yesterday which was really good," Queensland coach Brendan Barlow said before admitting he'll further use O'Hanlon just outside the ruck as a second-rower or lock.

"We thought Pat would offer a lot to us in a utility role," he said in the lead-up to the side's next hit out, against New South Wales Combined Catholic Colleges today.

"He's got lots of enthusiasm and confidence and seems to be a smart learner.

"We saw him at the state trials at Dalby and although he's only 16 he was very impressive."

It's believed the emerging talent is hoping to sign with Parramatta next year, looking at a two-year deal with a third year option.

His short- term aim is a successful stint in the SG Ball competition.
UNDER 13's
Mackay State High
38 - 4
Rockhampton Combined High Schools
UNDER 14's
Mackay State High
18 - 6
Rockhampton Combined High Schools

WHILE Mackay State High's open schoolboy side assured itself of a top-four finish in the coveted Super 8 series, the school's under 15 outfit swept into the final of the North Queensland Challenge.

Both sides brushed aside their Charters Towers opponents last week.

The under 15s will now tackle Cairns State High after the school holidays in a bid to be tagged as one of the best young sides in the north.

Coach Don McDermott said his team showed grit to overcome a disappointing first round 20-20 draw with Pioneer/Mirani to surge into top spot in their pool.

"We started off a bit slowly, probably because we didn't have any trials," he said.

"But we gained some momentum during the series and are starting to play some good football."

His side caused an upset by defeating competition favourites Kirwan 16-10 before thumping the Charters Towers combined schools outfit 38-6 at Ayr last week.

McDermott's side boasts a lethal halves combination in Capricornia captain Dylan Smith and Queensland representative Leon Curry, who was recently named as player of the tournament at the under 15 State Championships.

Fullback Ian Read offers plenty of promise and centre Rogan Dean is in fine form after snaring six tries in his last three appearances.

Fourteen-year-old prop Daniel Matsen is developing into a highly-rated forward. He ran 40m to score the match-winning try against Kirwan, beating the fullback and dragging defenders over the line
Cody Morrison on the burst
Cody Morrison on the burst

After a disappointing draw with the combined Mirani/Pioneer High team in round one of the Schoolboy’s NORTH QUEENSLAND Cowboys U/ 15 Challenge, Mackay State High School Bounced back on their school oval today to record a morale boosting victory over rivals and competition favourites Kirwan High from Townsville.

Kirwan found themselves behind on the scoreboard early in the contest following a slick move which put Mackay High winger Buchanan Rawhiti over the line.

The try was converted by Mackay SHS’s half Dylan Smith to give the Home team an early lead.. Learn More
Mackay Daily Mercury
A MACKAY State High School student with a tigerish love of rugby league will lead Queensland at the national under 15 championships in Adelaide next month.

Leon Curry was named player of the carnival after leading Capricornia to just its fifth state championship win on the weekend at the Gold Coast, beating Metropolitan North 32-8 in the final.

He was named captain of the Queensland team for the national titles, in which he will be joined by Holy Spirit College student Tom Jacklin, who played prop for Capricornia.

Sarina player Chris Buchholz, who played in the President's side in the state championships, was named in the Queensland No.2 side.

Capricornia coach Danny Keenan, of Moranbah, said Curry played fantastic football during the week-long carnival.

Curry, a five-eighth, has been part of the Mackay State High School rugby league academy for the last two years and has a scholarship with NRL club Wests Tigers.

"He's an amazing kid," Keenan said.

"He's one of the most focused players I've worked with. He listened to every word I said and he stepped up each game and gave great leadership to the side."

It's the first time Capricornia has won a state title since 1999, when Brett Seymour was in the side, and the national titles during the June school holidays are sure to attract plenty of interest from NRL scouts.

Mackay High¡¦s Pat O¡¦Hanlon was named in the Australian Schoolboys side after last year¡¦s national carnival.

Keenan said several other Mackay players in the Capricornia team were desperately unlucky not to make the state side, including winger Rogan Dean, lock Daniel Simpson, fullback Ian Read and Dylan Smith, all of Mackay High, and Ben Buchholz, of Sarina.

Moranbah's Wally Wilton defended well, while Read, at just 14, suffered an injury but Keenan predicted he would be back next year.

"He was robbed," Keenan said of Simpson's non-selection. "The selectors said he wasn't big enough, but nobody got over him during the carnival and there was nobody better than him in defence."

Don McDermott, of Mackay High, was team manager.
Daily Mercury
THE giant of North Queensland schoolboy rugby league dominated at Mackay State High School yesterday.

Kirwan State High School arrived late for the Super 8 match at Mackay High's oval and virtually got off the bus running but didn’t miss a beat, putting on three tries for a match-winning 18-0 lead at half-time.

Despite a Marmin Barba-inspired fightback, Kirwan wrapped up the match 30-12 to confirm their status as the north's rugby league powerhouse.

But Kirwan coach Todd Wilson praised Mackay High's effort against a team stacked with NRL club scholarship holders.

"Mackay High is a young side, they’re going to be a force in the next few years," he said.. Learn More
Jack Clark bursting thru' the defence
Jack Clark bursting thru' the defence
(Photo : Bill Esau/ourfooty media_
Mackay Daily Mercury
MACKAY State High's open rugby league side will have a prime opportunity to rattle the cage of one of Queensland's rugby league giants this afternoon.

MSHS coach Don Saunders rates a dangerous Kirwan State High as the team to beat in this year’s much-hyped Super 8 series.

He knows his side will need to lift another notch in today's match at Mackay State High after winning their round one derby against St Patrick’s College a week ago.

"They're solid across the park and are a very professional outfit," he said of the Townsville team, which has become a dominant force in North Queensland thanks to a well-established sports excellence program.

Kirwan SH has unleashed Sam Thaiday, Jacob Lillyman and Brent Webb on to the NRL scene in recent years.

And although Kirwan was bundled out of last year's Arrive Alive Cup by Ignatius Park in the Queensland quarter-finals, it is expected this year’s crop of talented players can further press their claims to a title.

"Their halfback Ray Thompson will be handful," Saunders said.

But the Mackay side has a talented halfback of their own in Marmin Barba.

Barba was instrumental in the side's 20-16 win against St Patrick's last week when Saunders also rated back-rower Pat O'Hanlon as a stand-out performer.

"He keeps lifting his game to a higher level," Saunders said. "He's got a real future in the game."

And with centre Steve Elliott back on board after making an indelible impression at the recent under 17 State Aged Carnival, the home side is hoping to cause a major upset by toppling traditional heavyweights Kirwan from 1.30pm.

Meanwhile, St Patrick's Rugby League co-ordinator Kevin Blakey said his open side was likely to play a combined Charters Towers schools side at Bowen on Tuesday.

The match was tentatively scheduled for this week but has been pushed back to suit the schools involved.

Blakey said he "had absolutely no idea" what sort of threat the Charters Towers side would pose.

But he believed his troops would have to be at their best against a team which includes the top rugby league talents from Columba Catholic College, Blackheath and Thornborough College, All Souls Saint Gabriels School and Charters Towers State High School.

A combined Mirani-Pioneer side is also scheduled to tackle Charters Towers in an under 15 North Queensland challenge match at Bowen.
Don McDermott
MSHSRLA Coach Don McDermott talks to his troops (Photo : Bill Esau & ourfooty media)
Mackay Daily Mercury
MACKAY'S top young rugby league talents displayed their skills in the opening round of the schoolboys Super 8s competition at the JRL grounds on Tuesday night.

In front of a large crowd, Mackay State High School, base of a rugby league academy, won the local derby against St Patrick's College, coming out on top 20-16.

The competition involves the leading rugby league schools of Queensland, and is seen as a good breeding ground for future NRL stars.

"It was good to see school football well received; there was a good crowd there," Mackay High coach Don Saunders said yesterday.

"This competition will be an opportunity for the players to develop their football and character, which is what you want.

" St Patrick's coach Matt Paul agreed, saying the Super 8s matches against quality sides would be good preparation ahead of the Confraternity Shield in June.

"Last year we only had one or two games leading up to the shield, so we didn’t have a great warm-up for it," he said.

Saunders said he was disappointed at the amount of dropped ball which he put down to inexperience.

"It's something they can learn from," he said. "We completed only eight of 25 sets, and we scored from three of those completions. "We did a lot of defence, our effort and commitment was really good, we've got a lot to work with there."

Lock Jack Clark was one of Mackay High’s best, along with second rowers Jordan Richardson and Pat O’Hanlon, and wingers Dylan Sadd and Bevan Healy.

St Patrick's led 6-4 for most of the first half, Mackay High scoring just before the break to take the lead, and scoring twice after the resumption to take control of the game.

St Patrick's best included forwards Ryan Williamson, Cody Webber, Stuart Shields and Bryan Schmidtke. The next big test will come for Mackay High next Wednesday when they take on Townsville's Kirwan High, long regarded as one of the north’s rugby league powerhouses.

"Kirwan have been a force for a long time, so it will be a really good game for our boys, they would be one of the favourites for the Super 8s," Saunders said.

The match will be played at 1.30pm next Wednesday, at the school oval. St Patrick's will travel to Bowen to take on Charters Towers, next Wednesday or Thursday.

The under 15s match between Mackay High and a combined Mirani/Pioneer side finished in a 20-all draw. Mackay High 20 (tries Daniel Simeon, Rob McLeod, Callan Peach, Steve Elliott; goals Marmin Barba 2) d St Patrick’s 16 (tries Callan Langer, Ryan Williamson, Damon Koolstra; goals Michael Gleeson 2).
Punishing defence and close scores were on display at the opening games of the NQ Cowboys U/15 Challenge and Open, Super 8 interschool’s competition in Mackay on Tuesday night.

In the U/15 game Mackay High clashed with a combined Mirani/Pioneer High team coached by Mirani SHS’s Pat Francis.

Although Mackay High seemed to be making more metres in attack, a constant flow of ill disciplined penalties invited their opponents in to their red zone with inevitable results.

The Combined high schools team scored twice before the Mackay High team consolidated to go to the break with a 10 – 6 score line.. Learn More
MSHS prop Matt Turton heads 'down town'
MSHS prop Matt Turton heads 'down town'
(Photo: ourfooty media/MSHS)

06/04 This week School teams in the MSSRL Challenge were able to catch on on two round 2 games that were missed a couple weeks ago.

From round 1 Sarina SHS (Opens) - 18 defeated St Pats 2 – 14 in a thrilling game that went down the the wire with St. Pat's almost hauling in the MSHS opens boys.

From round 2 Mackay SHS 1 (Year 8) - 46 defeated Mercy College – 0.

Mackay SHS are very strong in this years 8 group as the boys are learning at the Mackay Rugby League Academy and learning that team work is the key to any success both on the footy field and at school too. (see action photo's of MSHS)
kyle_smart-chases-hardrunning_farren_jenkynsMACKAY DISTRICT SECONDARY SCHOOLS RUGBY LEAGUE

Round 2 - Games Synopsis
Games were played at three venues yesterday, Sarina High hosted Mackay High’s Year 8 2nd’s and the U/15 and Open 3rd teams at Ray Edwards Oval in Sarina and some very entertaining games were produced.

Mercy College’s U/15 and St Patrick’s Open 2nd’s met the Mackay High U/15, and Open 2nd’s teams at South’s Abbott Park.

Mackay North and Pioneer Highs Year 8 teams clashed in a game held at North’s Jack O’Brien Oval.

In Sarina quite large and appreciative crowds enjoyed some engaging Rugby League and plenty of success for the home teams.

In the opening game the MSHS 2nd’s rolled over the opposition on the scoreboard 26 – 6 but on the field it was a much closer contest.

There was a lot to like about the Sarina boys as they worked hard right up to the bell. Player’s player for MSHS was the Academy’s hard charging lock, Blake Dutton-Pitcher just eclipsing bristling centre three quarter Evert Hanson for the honour.

In the U/15’s match Sarina’s team blew away the listless MSHS 3rd’s with a blistering display of power running. MSHS had no answers to the 42 – 4 hammering with only a couple of the predominantly Year 9 players making any impact.

Cody Morrison was one of the better performers for Mackay High.

The Open game developed into a high energy, end to end battle with the Sarina team running out clear winners 26 – 6 although the inexperienced Open MSHS 3rd’s remained committed to the job throughout.

Although outgunned, the Milton boys were unlucky not to convert several more of their numerous opportunities.

In only his second game of Rugby League Matt Rutland was outstanding for Mackay High. Also for MSHS 3, Aniel Calixtro kicked a remarkable goal and Ronnie Oquendo displayed some skills that may see him moving closer to the action in future games.

In the two games played at Abbott Park, Mackay High ran-up big scores against Mercy and St Patrick’s Colleges.

Mercy suffered at the hands of a frustrated MSHS 2nd team after their poor showing against Moranbah SHS the previous week. Stung by the defeat Coach Doyle worked his charges to a heightened stage of physical and mental preparedness for this game.

The resulting 78 – 0 score line may see this team get on a roll in this competition.

Coach Doyle reported that crafty half Aisa Munro was creative with the ball in hand and that back rower Evander Mallie and prop Daniel Matsen worked the house down.

Coach Luck from the MSHS open 2nd’s reported that Jordan Richardson, Cruise Bickey and Kelvin Neilen were the best performers in the 46 – 6 victory over St Pat’s 2nd’s.

The St Pats team played strongly and without luck but had no answer to the determined MSHS outfit. St Pats 2nd’s will be playing a catch-up game against Sarina postponed due to poor weather last week.

Over at North’s Jack O’Brien Oval Mackay North SHS Defeated Pioneer SHS 24-10 in their Year 8 game. ( SEE OUR ACTION PHOTO'S OF THE DAY'S GAMES )
BIG GAME: All Blacks under-16 rugby league stars Dawson Mau (left), Lynden Law, Zac Moss and Aaron Fairweather have their bagsMATES HIT THE BIG LEAGUE
Townsville Bulletin
ROCKHAMPTON’S Zac Moss and his footy mates better get used to playing on the big stage.

Moss, along with All Blacks under-16 teammates Dawson Mau, Lynden Law and Aaron Fairweather, head to Brisbane today where they will join the Queensland Indigenous under-16 rugby league side in camp.

After only finding out their Queensland selection last Friday, the Rockhampton stars will lead the Maroons against their NSW counterparts at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.
Mackay District Secondary School Rugby LeagueCLASH OF THE GIANTS
Mackay daily mercury
TRADITIONAL Mackay rugby league powerhouse St Patrick’s College is destined for a round one date with emerging giants Mackay State High in the inaugural Super 8 series.

The competition, to begin on May 2, involves the best eight North Queensland open schoolboy sides and acts as a crucial stage of the 2007 Arrive Alive Cup with the top four sides advancing to the next round.

And St Patricks' glowing image as Mackay's premier rugby league school is about to be tested by a growing force in the game.

St Patricks’ rugby league co-ordinator Kevin Blakey, who manages his school’s open side, said the looming round one encounter with Mackay State High (MSHS) could be a thrilling contest.

"We'll still be a force to be reckoned with but Milton Street have got a crackerjack side," he said.

"We definitely see them as a threat because they’ve built up their squad in the last couple of years and have been taking some of our (prospective) clientele with the academy there."

Indeed, MSHS's Rugby League Academy looks set to reap rewards after its inception in 2004.

Students who joined the academy in year 8 are now ready to burst onto the scene in the open age group. And with Australian Schoolboy representative Patrick O'Hanlon within the ranks alongside promising youngsters Callan Peach and Marmin Barba, the team has plenty of game-breakers.

MSHS rugby league co-ordinator Bill Esau said his side could pose a significant challenge to its cross-town rivals this year.

"Although I'm unsure of whether or not St Pat's and Mackay High will be able to beat some of the Townsville sides I'm quietly confident we'll be able to match it with them (St Patrick's)," he said.

Coach Don Saunders was uncertain of his team's capabilities in this year's Super 8 and was banking on the side becoming a more prevalent force in 2008.

"I'd say we're the underdogs of the competition this year," he said. "Most of our team are in Year 11 so it might be expecting a bit much from them to compete well against Year 12 students.

“This year is more about preparing them for next year." But of the other Super 8 sides, St Patrick’s College in particular will have to tread warily against MSHS.

It is believed the Matt Paul trained side is lacking the depth of previous years. However, it does still possess some quality players including Queensland confraternity representative Ryan Williamson.

The towering back-rower/five-eighth is likely to star alongside other playmakers Tim Hanley, Cody Webber and hooker Tim Dalton. MSHS and St Patrick's have been drawn alongside Townsville heavyweights Kirwan State High and a combined Charters Towers outfit in Group B of the Super 8, while Ignatius Park College and Abergowrie College have been grouped with two Cairns sides in Group A.

Meanwhile, the reinvigorated Mackay Secondary Schools tournament kicked off on Wednesday with all schools except St Patrick's First and MSHS Firsts competing at venues throughout the district.

MACKAY State High School students were among the most impressive performers on the rugby league paddock at the Capricornia Secondary Schools Trials yesterday.

Eight of the school’s top athletes, including future stars Pat O’Hanlon, Ian Read and Leon Curry, were selected to represent the region at the State Secondary Schools Titles in May.

Mackay State High’s Don Saunders, who is the head coach of the school’s Rugby League Academy, said the strong presence of his students at the trials proved the academy and its students were making good progress since its foundation in 2004.

“I think it (the trial performance) is an indication that we’re heading in the right direction,” he said.

“We have high expectations of the students with their discipline and effort
and the academy is striving to improve each player’s ability.”

ARL Development officer Andrew Lawrence said Steve Elliot, formerly of Toowoomba, would be one to watch after impressing at the trials, held in Mackay.

Capricornia representatives were also selected from Sarina High, Moranbah High and traditional rugby league heavyweights St Patrick’s College.

Mackay’s 15 years and open sides were both able to overcome sides from the Central Highlands but were subsequently outclassed by Central Queensland adversaries Rockhampton.

Mackay students selected for Capricornia:
15 years: Ian Read, Rogan Dean, Leon Curry, Daniel Simpson, Dylan Smith (all Mackay SHS), Ben Buchholz (Sarina SHS), Bobby Lee Wilton (Moranbah SHS).

Open: Steve Elliot (Mackay SHS), Ryan Williamson (St Patrick’s College), Callan Peach (Mackay SHS), Pat O’Hanlon (Mackay SHS).

Academy players were also visited at Mackay State High School by rugby league legend Tommy Raudonikis on Wednesday, in town to attend a union rally.

Raudonikis is remembered as one the most fanatic and uncompromising players to lace on a boot for Sydney’s Western Suburbs, New South Wales and Australia.

At school Tommy encouraged academy players to work hard and be passionate about the game.


RUGBY league is a hot subject at Mackay State High School.

The MSHS Rugby League Academy continues to grow rapidly with students from as far away as Toowoomba and Emerald joining local players from across the district on the training paddock.

More than 100 students were currently enrolled in Academy classes, coach Don Saunders said yesterday.
The classes also include four “home stay” students, from as far away as the Central Highlands and Tambo.

Saunders said the school had been recognised by the Sydney-based rugby league website, ranking it among the nation’s “hot” rugby league schools.. Learn More




Mackay selector-manager Steve Nielsen said he, coach Craig Menkins and fellow selector Mick Proberts were confident they had chosen the best 40 players available for the trial.

"These players from the City-Country trials and next week's team will go a long way to the make-up of the first Foley Shield game against Townsville in Ayr on March 31," Nielsen said.

"We’ve been instructed to select a team after round one so these games and some club trials before round one will be all we will see of the talent that is available."

He said it was important for all grades of representative teams to feature strongly this season and add to the push for 2008 Queensland Cup entry.

"While there is no Queensland Cup available this year the opportunity for higher honours is there," he said. "Our U17s and U19s can win their way into a Queensland team by being chosen for the state carnival in May for the Northern Division team.

"Our seniors have a similar opportunity by first being chosen in the Northern Division team and eventually a Queensland Country team.

"It's also rumoured an Australian Residents team may be selected this year." Kickoff for under 17s is 3.30, under 19 5pm and A-grade 6.30pm.

City: 1 Aaron Barba, 2 Brendan Russell, 3 Brett Ward, 4 Tom Baker, 5 Dean Tass, 6 Todd Seymour, 7 Michael Meigan, 8 Lyle Kunst, 9 Luke Srama, 10 Pita Beraciri, 11 Stu Cruickshank, 12 Kerrod Toby, 13 David Nixon, 14 Scott Gillis, 15 Judd Billings, 16 Ben Barba, 17 Dane Vogel, 18 Daniel Backo, 19 Jeremy Manz.

Country: 1 Daniel Flynn, 2 Chris Giumelli, 3 Matt Marnis, 4 Ross Sammut, 5 Dion Mayne, 6 Ben Staines, 7 Mark Finlay, 8 Keith Coburn, 9 Matt Temby, 10 Shane McKellar, 11 Nathan Rehtla, 12 Jeremy Lateo, 13 James Bryant, 14 Jarrod Owens, 15 Toby Nash, 16 James Kimber, 17 Hayden Martin, 18 Daley White, 19 Quinton Fielder (Mackay Daily Mercury)

15/02 THE next generation of NRL and State of Origin stars will be on show in Mackay in July when the city hosts an open schoolboys test match between NSW and Queensland.

Fittingly, the game will be played on Thursday, July 5, the night after the third State of Origin clash, at Mackay's Junior Rugby League grounds.

"That will be a week when football is big," ARL development officer Andrew Lawrence said yesterday.

"These are the next generation of NRL and State of Origin players. "They are aged from 17 to 18, and most of them are contracted to NRL clubs."

Lawrence said excitement players like the Storm's Greg Inglis, the Broncos' Karmichael Hunt and Wests Tigers' Benji Marshall had all played in NSW-Queensland open schoolboys tests.

"David Taylor played in it last year, and he's the next big thing at the Broncos.

"Obi Geia, who is looking to bust into first grade for the Cowboys this season, is another who has played in this match."

He said the teams would come to Mackay ahead of the national schoolboys exchange in Townsville, starting on July 9.

The test will be the highlight of what is shaping up to be a big season of schoolboys football in Mackay.

Another highlight will be the inaugural Super 8s competition, involving the leading eight rugby league schools in North Queensland, in which Mackay State High School and St Patrick’s College will compete.. Learn More - (Mackay Daily Mercury)
Taylor and Ryan Ridland and Year 8 academy students Brendan Treston, Ian Read, Kody Morrison, Joel Paterson, Josh Doherty, James Howard and Daniel Vitali.MSHS RUGBY LEAGUE ACADEMY HELPS SAVE LIVES 15/12 Following the success of the Year 9 Academy’s Walk for Life charity efforts earlier in the year, a  group of Year 8 Mackay State High School Rugby League Academy students recently took timeout from their weekend to help raise funds for the Mackay Surf Life Saving Club. 

Seven academy members and two of their teacher’s door knocked an allocated area to raise much needed money for the deserving volunteer organisation.

Teachers Nathan Doyle and Terry Able were joined by Academy players and junior lifesavers Taylor and Ryan Ridland and Year 8 academy students Brendan Treston, Ian Read, Kody Morrison, Joel Paterson, Josh Doherty, James Howard and Daniel Vitali.

Organising teacher, Academy coach Nathan Doyle said that the boy’s were happy to provide their time to support such a worthy cause and praised the group’s efforts during the doorknock.  The boys were able to cover a large area during the collection because of the generous donation of a Toyota Tarago by Thrifty Car and Truck Rentals which was used to transport the students to and from their collection points. 

Queensland Surf Live saving, the life you save may be your own.A donation to Surf Life Saving will help save lives now and in the future. You can make a tax-deductible donation today by visiting or you can phone the organisation direct on 1800 642 925 with the details of your contribution. Photo details left to right: Josh Doherty, Brendan Treston, Joel Paterson, Taylor Ridland , James Howard, Ian Read, Kody Morrison.
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Monday 24 September,
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Wednesday 26 September,
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Venue - RAF Stadium RAF Uxbridge Hillingdon, Middlesex
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Brother's Bulldogs donut lover Mitchell can't wait to join MSHS Academy
Brother's Bulldogs champion & donut lover Mitchell can't wait to join MSHS Academy

Round 2 Results
MSHS Sponsors are great mate
(Mackay Daily Mercury)
MacKay High School Rugby League Academy
Nathan Doyle - Coach
Mackay State High School
Phone: 07 4957 9179 Email:
Bill Esau - Program Co-ordinator
Mackay State High School
Phone: 07 4957 9186
Fax: 07 4957 9100 Email:
Jody Sainsbury
Pres. Supporters Committee
Mackay State High School
Phone: 07 4957 9129 Email:
Don McDermid - HOD - Physical Education
Mackay State High School
Phone: 07 4957 9139 Email:
Don Saunders - Coach
Mackay State High School
Phone: 07 4957 9129 Email:
Matt O’Hanlon - Principal
Mackay State High School
Phone: 07 4957 9179 Email:
2007 Cowboys Challenge
'HOT' Schoolboys football Competitions
Broncos Secondary School Rugby League ChaellengeBRONCOS
SSRL Schoolboys
Broncos Secondary School Rugby League ChaellengeKevin
Struddy's SportsSTRUDDY'S
Under 14's
ASSRL 2007
ourfootyteam logo HOME
MSHS RLA in the News
Wavell State High SchoolWAVELL HOST MACKAY TOURISTS ! 06/11 Tuesday the 24th of October saw Wavell State High host Mackay State Highs 13, 14 and 15 years teams in an inaugral clash between the two schools. Spectators and parents, witnessed very physical encounters.. Learn More
David Taylor and teammate Sammy JoeFUTURE IS BRIGHT FOR TALENTED DUO 13/10 SCHOOL'S back in and St Brendan's College duo David Taylor and Sammy Joe have more than final year exams on their minds.. Learn More
Mackay SHS Rugby League Academy training jumper back
Mackay SHS Academy training shirt for 2007
(Mackay Daily Mercury)
(Mackay Daily Mercury)
Big Bear Butchery - MSHS Sponsor Benjo's Earthmoving - MSHS Sponsor

Mackay SHS Rugby League Academy
MacKay High School Rugby League Academy
C'Mon, Be a part of our team
Souths Leagues Club SOUTHS SHARKS
QRL MEDIA RELEASE 12/12 /06 HUGE NUMBERS SET FOR SUMMER FUN A RECORD 560 attendees will flood the Queensland Rugby League’s Summer Coaching Camps in Toowoomba and Townsville on Monday, December 18, some coming from as far afield as New Zealand.
While the annual camps have packed out for years in succession, slight tinkering has allowed even more participants to join in the fun in 2006. Now seen as a rugby league institution, the week-long QRL Camps have run since 1985 when the inaugural instructors included Wayne Bennett, John Monie and Roy Masters.
Their popularity has been founded on a mix of cutting-edge education and development, combined with a fun atmosphere and plenty of variety.. Learn More

Rugby League Development

A detailed program has been developed covering the following teaching concepts.

These concepts have been linked to the current Health and
Physical Education (H.P.E.) syllabus document that enhances attitudes of students toward healthy lifestyles, nutrition and exercise, and assists in the development of student skills and fitness needed for continued involvement in physical activity:

• Exercise Physiology
• Sports Psychology
• Coaching
• Referee
• Training Programs
– Strength and Conditioning
• Nutrition / Nutrition for Sports People
• Injury / Injury Prevention
• Career development

Mackay Academy boys waiting their opportunityThe program will focus on individual offensive and defensive skills, game play, tactics and motor skill development such as evasion, ball handling, passing and movement efficiency.

Students will also learn roles and
objectives of specific positions and patterns of play.

Mackay SHS Rugby League Academy
MacKay High School Rugby League Academy
C'Mon, Be a part of our team
Souths Leagues Club SOUTHS SHARKS
mshsrlaMSHSRLA Presentation Night 2006

2006 has been another successful year for the MSHS Rugby League Academy.

We secured the Mick Shew Shield and the Booker Primrose Shield as best Year 8 and U/15 teams in the Mackay district

We have played against many of the best Rugby League schools in the state including St Brendan’s College, Ignatius Park College, Kirwan SHS, Wavell SHS and Palm Beach Currumbin SHS. We were competitive in all of these games, winning most of them.

The presentation night is an opportunity to acknowledge many of our outstanding Academy students. The successful students were those who were able to meet the demands of the following criteria:

· Proven Rugby League skills and ability / potential
· Ability to work with others in the pursuit of Rugby league excellence
· Willingness to maintain academic expectations
· Proven record of attitude and behaviour in the school community
· Willingness to adhere to all Academy requirements

The recipients of the awards were students that have, to varying degrees, strived to fulfil the ethos of our academy. We think it is important that students display improvement in their school attendance and academic achievements and have participated in various social and extra curricular activities. Our students need to exhibit discipline and continue to improve their on and off field performances while meeting the responsibilities of their teams.

Mackay State High School MACKAY STATE HIGH


Ignatius Park State High School IGNATIUS
S. H. S.


Wavell State High School WAVELL


Palm Beach Currumbin State High School PALM BEACH




St. Brendans College Yeppoon St. Brendans College

* North Queensland Representatives (Club)

Matt Ahern Y8
Marlin Hita Y8
Kody Morrison Y8
Ian Read Y8
Leon Curry Y9
Dylan Smith Y9
Dane Gagai Y10
Matthew Gardner Y10
Damon Koolstra-Aplin Y10
Craig McDuff Y10
Robert McLeod Y10

* U/15 Presidents 13 Representatives

Damon Koolstra-Aplin
Daniel Simeon

* U/15 Capricornia Representatives

v Marmin Barba
v Dane Gagai
v Robert McLeod
v Callan Peach
v Cameron Treacy

* Queensland Representatives (Club)

Ian Read
Leon Curry

* Queensland Open Indigenous Team

Leighton Bickey

* U/15 Capricornia Representative
* U/15 Queensland Representative
* U/15 Australian Merit Representative

Patrick O’Hanlon

Referees Certificates:

v Michael Conlon
v Byron McMahon
v Andrew Panowitz
v Kahn Ahwang
v Steven Filewood

Year 8 Player Awards

Academic Award – Ben Carter
Encouragement Award – Ryan Ridland
Best Back Award - Kody Morrison
Best Forward Award - Tim Harris
Best and Fairest – Ian Read

U/14 Player Awards

Academic Award – Dean Newborn
Encouragement Award – Tyler O’Brien
Best Back Award- Lui Sinak
Best Forward Award - Daniel Simpson
Best and Fairest – Leon Curry

U/15 Player Awards

Academic Award – Patrick O’Hanlon
Encouragement Award – Preston Farmer
Best Back Award- Kelvin Neilson
Best Forward Award- Robert McLeod
Best and Fairest – Patrick O’Hanlon

Open Player Awards

Academic Award – Byron Mooney
Encouragement Award – Corey Stevenson
Best Back Award - Byron Mooney
Best Forward Award - Steven Filewood
Best and Fairest – Byron McMahon

RLA School Spirit Award – Was presented to Robert McLeod for his outstanding commitment to the Rugby League Academy and his exceptional involvement in a range of school activities. mACKAY shs ACADEMY sPONSORS The presentation night with Principal Matt O’Hanlon presenting certificates and commemorative school jerseys to the following Sponsors of the Academy:
Reg Tracey - Big Bear Butchery
Jody Sainsbury – Brenjos Earthmoving
Dallas Watt – Whitson and Watt Accountants
Rod Tandy – South’s Rugby League Club
• Mackay State High School Facilities
• Leading Edge Fitness Centre
• Souths Rugby League Facilities
• Victoria Park Swimming Pool
• Souths Mackay Coaching Resources
• Sports Performer Video Analysis
• Sprints and Agility Equipment
• Contact Body Suits
Mackay SHS Rugby League Academy
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Mackay SHS Rugby League Academy
Winners of the Mackay Secondary School Year 8
Competition (Mick Shew Shield)
Winners of the Mackay Secondary School U/15
Competition (Booker Primrose Shield)
• Academy players to gain state selection:
Ian Read & Leon Curry - U/13 & U/14 Qld. merit teams
• First Academy player to gain national selection: Patrick O’Hanlon - U/15 merit team.
• Cowboy’s players present Academy Lecture.
• Academy Tour to Rockhampton for St. Brendan’s College games.
• Tour to Townsville for Kirwan State High School and Cowboys facilities tour.
• Tour to South East Queensland for Palm Bach Currumbin, Titans Development and Wavell SHS games.
• Supporters Committee formed.
• Academy Program is district finalist in the
Showcase competition.
• Academy teams experience success in games against St Brendan’s, Ignatius Park and Kirwan SHS.
• Australian Schoolboy Selection -
Patrick O’Hanlon
• Queensland Representatives -
Leon Curry, Ian Read
• Capricornia Representatives -
Marmin Barba, Dane Gagai, Callan Peach, Cameron Treacy
• Presidents 13 Representatives –
Damon Koolstra-Aplin, Daniel Simeon,
• NQ Representatives –
Kody Morrison, Dylan Smith, Dane Gagai,
Damon Koolstra Aplin, Craig McDuff,
Robert McLeod, Cameron Treacy
• Mackay Representatives -
Matt Ahern, Rhys Barton, Taylor Ridland, Callan Scott, Marmin Barba, Shane Szymanski, Daniel Simpson, Rogan Dean, Lui Sinak, Daniel Simeon, Wade Hill, Andrew Pannowitz, Byron Mooney, Josh Blow, Leighton Bickey
MacKay High School Rugby League Academy