Confraternity Carnival’s most successful team has returned to the grand final for an all-Central Queensland showdown to decide the famous schoolboys’ rugby league trophy.
St Brendan’s College, Yeppoon had won 13 Confraternity Shields but had not qualified for a final since 2016 until today’s clinical 22-4 semi-final victory over a brave Marymount College, Burleigh Waters in Brisbane.
St Brendan’s College will meet Emmaus College in tomorrow’s decider after the Rockhampton school edged St Patrick’s College, Mackay 10-4 in the other semi-final. Both finalists have proud rugby league histories and provide three members of the Maroons’ State of Origin squad: Harry Grant and Ben Hunt (St Brendan’s); and Cameron Munster (Emmaus).
This has been among the most open “Confros” in years and it’s hard to choose a favourite for the decider. Emmaus College needed a late try to defeat St Brendan’s College in a recent Dolphins Cup match.
Today’s win was a relief for the St Brendan’s players who fell last year to eventual champions Ignatius Park College, Townsville in one of the competition’s most memorable semi-finals.
This time, St Brendan’s stole an early lead and fended off a resilient Marymount College in a contest stacked with NRL connections.
Marymount College is coached by former State of Origin player Matt Geyer and features Cooper Bai (son of PNG international Marcus), Oscar Laffranchi (son of Blues forward Anthony) and Phillip Coates (brother of Maroons winger Xavier).
St Brendan’s College is coached by former NRL winger Scott Minto and includes hooker Braelan Marsh (son of Maroons forward PJ) and storming Carter Ford, who is the son of former Queensland prop Carl Webb.
Ford showed the courage and energy of his father, who is battling motor neurone disease, when he crashed over for the first of four tries for St Brendan’s.
Confraternity Carnival – featuring 52 boys’ teams and 12 girls’ teams from Catholic and Independent Schools across Queensland – is conducted by Queensland Independent Secondary Schools Rugby League and supported by CQ University as major sponsor.
“There was some pressure there from last year (semi-final loss) so it’s exciting to get past this and into the final,” Minto said. “Our players really dug deep for each other today and we had to scrap at times against a really good team. We had to be consistent and we managed that.”
The second-tier Bob Lindner Trophy will be decided tomorrow between Marist College, Ashgrove and St Peter Claver College, Riverview after they won their semi-finals. Marist College has added to the shock of this year’s Confraternity Carnival with a win over Ignatius Park College which was shooting for a third consecutive Shield but now can finish no higher than 10th.
A total of 16 teams each contest the boys’ Divisions 1 and 2 while 20 teams are playing in Division 3.
The Neil Bloxsidge Plate for the best team in Division 2 will feature a grand final between Columba Catholic College, Charters Towers and host school St Laurence’s College at their grounds at Runcorn. The Division 2 second-tier Confraternity Bowl will feature Villanova College, Coorparoo and former Shield winner St Teresa’s College, Abergowrie in the grand final.
The top prize in Division 3 will be contested by Xavier Catholic College, Hervey Bay and Chanel College, Gladstone while Division 3’s second-tier Confraternity Challenge will be played between St John’s College, Nambour 26 and St James’ College, Spring Hill.
Boys’ Thursday results
St Brendan’s College, Yeppoon 22 d Marymount College, Burleigh Waters 4
Emmaus College, Rockhampton 10 d St Patrick’s College, Mackay 4
Shalom College, Bundaberg 10 d Iona College, Lindum 8
St Augustine’s College, Cairns 18 d The Cathedral College, Rockhampton 4
Bob Lindner Trophy semi-finals
Marist College, Ashgrove 14 d Ignatius Park College, Townsville 10
St Peter Claver College, Riverview 12 d St Mary’s College, Toowoomba 6
St Edmund’s College, Ipswich 14 d St Patrick’s College, Shorncliffe 10
Padua College, Kedron 40 d Rockhampton Grammar School 4
Neil Bloxsidge Plate semi-finals
Columba Catholic College, Charters Towers 16 d St Columban’s College, Caboolture 10
St Laurence’s College, South Brisbane 28 d Our Lady of the Southern Cross College, Dalby 16
Aquinas College, Ashmore 40 d Blackheath and Thornburgh College, Charters Towers 8
Assumption College, Warwick 30 d Marist College, Emerald 8
Confraternity Bowl semi-finals
Villanova College, Coorparoo 38 d Holy Spirit College, Mackay 10
St Teresa’s College, Abergowrie 26 d St Thomas More College, Sunnybank 0
All Souls St Gabriel’s College, Charters Towers 28 d St Michael’s College, Merrimac 4
St Joseph’s College, Toowoomba 16 d Clairvaux MacKillop College, Mt Gravatt 14
Confraternity Cup quarter-finals
Xavier Catholic College, Hervey Bay 12 d Trinity College, Beenleigh 10
Chanel College, Gladstone 40 d Southern Cross Catholic College, Townsville 0
Good Shepherd College, Mount Isa 28 d Ryan Catholic College, Townsville 6
St John’s School, Roma 10 drew with St Patrick’s College, Gympie/Good Samaritan College, Bli Bli 10
Confraternity Cup semi-finals
Xavier Catholic College, Hervey Bay 28 d St Patrick’s College, Gympie/Good Samaritan College, Bli Bli 12
Chanel College, Gladstone 40 d Good Shepherd College, Mount Isa 8
St John’s School, Roma 18 d Trinity College, Beenleigh 16
Southern Cross Catholic College, Townsville 18 d Ryan Catholic College, Townsville 10
Confraternity Challenge quarter-finals
Unity College, Caloundra West 16 d Faith Lutheran College, Plainland 4
St James’ College, Spring Hill 22 d Chisholm Catholic College, Cornubia 6
Mt Maria College, Mitchelton 10 d St Augustine’s College, Augustine Heights 6
St John’s College, Nambour 24 d Emmaus College, Jimboomba 6
Confraternity Challenge semi-finals
St John’s College, Nambour 26 d Unity College, Caloundra West 12
St James’ College, Spring Hill 13 d Mt Maria College, Mitchelton 10
Emmaus College, Jimboomba 22 d Faith Lutheran College, Plainland 0
St Augustine’s College, Augustine Heights 26 d Chisholm Catholic College, Cornubia 10
St Anthony’s College, Townsville 22 d St Mary’s College, Woree 4
Gilroy Santa Maria College, Ingham 12 d McAuley College, Beaudesert 6