Two down, three to go – that’s the challenge facing Redcliffe State High School’s Rugby League Program of Excellence in the next three weeks.
Program director Scott Murray is aiming to get all five teams into the Brisbane Broncos/QSSRL top schools’ competitions in South East Queensland.
It is a feat Murray and the Broncos believe Redcliffe State High School has not achieved in the 20 years the events have been run.
Redcliffe’s Year 7 and Year 8 teams are already through having qualified for the Brisbane Broncos Old Boys Trophy and (Steve) Renouf Shield respectively.
The Year 7s lost 14-4 to Marsden, but roared back beating Stretton, Coombabah, Mabel Park and Alexandra Hills without conceding a point!
The Year 9s are hoping to join them tomorrow (April 20) when they face three pool matches and then (hopefully) a final at Stafford.
Preparation for these (Michael) Hancock Cup qualifiers included going into school on the last day of their Easter holidays for training.
Redcliffe’s Opens (Years 11-12) have a semi-final against Alexandra Hills at Wynnum on May 5 in their quest to reach the (Allan) Langer Trophy.
The Year 10s are preparing for a one-off final on May 12 – opponents to be decided – to reach the (Kevin) Walters Cup.
“Definitely feeling confident,” says Murray, who joined the program in 2015, “the Year 9s have been improving all the time and had great results going into this competition.
“The Year 10s have certainly got a chance. They have been good in trial matches and I think we have our strongest Opens team for quite a few years.
“Getting all our teams into the Broncos competitions would be a great boost for the program.
“We have been working hard and building. If we don’t achieve it this year, I think the program will do it soon.”
The current Year 12 players have been right through the program with Murray, being the Year 7s when he started in 2015.
The Redcliffe SHS Program of Excellence is in its 21st year and has produced NRL stars such as Queensland and Australia half-back Daly Cherry-Evans, Queensland and Broncos forward Josh Maguire and Josh Kerr, a forward at St George Dragons.
The course covers six semesters in Years 7-9 on skills and physical development with three lessons per week, plus competitions and camps.
This leads into the Senior School Program of Excellence for Years 10-12, with three lessons each week, a three-day camp, refereeing certificate and fitness qualification.
Pictures: Courtesy of Herdo Photography
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