The most successful team in Confraternity Carnival history returned to the top today when St Brendan’s College, Yeppoon won a stirring battle with local rivals Emmaus College, Rockhampton in the schools’ rugby league meet in Brisbane.
St Brendan’s claimed the boys’ Confraternity Shield when it broke down an Emmaus College defensive wall that held firm until the second half of a frantic final at St Laurence’s College’s playing fields at Runcorn.
Emmaus College was seeking its first Shield win and it conceded only four tries in five matches this week leading into a decider player in front of more than 2000 supporters.
At halftime, Emmaus College had withstood the raids from St Brendan’s to lead 4-0 but the Yeppoon team blasted through with four tries in the second half for an 18-10 victory.
St Brendan’s laid the platform through their quality big men who continually charged at the Emmaus pack, sparking three tries in 10 minutes to deliver a treasured win for the school that has delivered a host of NRL stars including current Queensland players Ben Hunt and Harry Grant.
They were coached today by former NRL winger Scott Minto and included the sons of two former Queensland players: hooker Braelan Marsh (son of PJ Marsh) and prop Carter Ford (son of Origin hardman Carl Webb).
Webb made an emotional appearance at the Confraternity dinner this week as he continues his battle with motor neurone disease and he couldn’t help but be proud of his son’s outstanding performance today.
Ford was one of the most dynamic of the St Brendan’s big men as he lined up for run after run for his team. He was later chosen in the Confraternity Carnival merit team along with Player of the Carnival Cooper Bai (Marymount College, Burleigh Waters), son of PNG legend Marcus Bai.
The Confraternity Carnival, sponsored by CQ University and staged by Queensland Independent Secondary Schools Rugby League, brought together 52 boys’ teams and 12 girls’ teams from Catholic and Independent schools across Queensland. The first carnival was played in 1980 with a host of Queensland’s greatest players emerging from the event.
This was St Brendan’s 14th Confraternity Shield – extending their carnival record – but it was their first since 2015 after heartbreak in recent seasons.
In 2019, St Brendan’s led Padua College 18-0 in the quarter-final but did not reach the last four. After Covid-19 ruined the 2020 and 2021 carnivals, St Brendan’s fell to Ignatius Park College in an epic semi-final.
And the pressure of those near misses led to an overflow of emotion as St Brendan’s scored their final try with minutes remaining to put a gallant Emmaus College out of reach.
“The chips were down for a while in that game because Emmaus were playing really well and we had some bumps and bruises that were challenging for us,” Minto said.
“I’m really proud of these boys for what they’ve done. There is always pressure around St Brendan’s at Confro because of the history of the school here and it’s so pleasing for the school to get this result.
“This is such a good Carnival as history and these results mean a lot to the boys.”
The second-tier Bob Lindner Trophy went to Marist College, Ashgrove when a team featuring the sons of rugby union guns defeated St Peter Claver College, Riverview 20-16 in extra time. Tim Howard (son of former Wallaby Pat Howard), Tobias Graham (son of former Queensland coach Richard Graham) and Lachlan McCall (son of Brothers player and renowned poet Rupert) were members of the Ashgrove team.
Division 2 turned up one of the best Confro moments this year when Columba Catholic College, Charters Towers defeated hosts St Laurence’s College 16-12 in the final of the Neil Bloxsidge Plate.
Columba, with only 25 Year 12 students, showed remarkable spirit to overcome the quality of St Laurence’s which includes about 2000 students from Years 5 to 12.
The Division 2 second-tier Confraternity Bowl wen to Villanova College, Coorparoo over St Teresa’s College, Abergowrie.
The best team in Division 3 was Gladstone’s Chanel College, winning the Confraternity Cup final against Xavier Catholic College, Hervey Bay 24-4.
The Division 3 second-tier Men of League Challenge went to extra time and was decided by a field goal by St James’ College, Spring Hill over St John’s College, Nambour 23-22.
The 44th Confraternity Carnival will be hosted by Ignatius Park College and held in Townsville in June next year.
Boys’ Friday results
Confraternity Shield final
St Brendan’s College, Yeppoon 18 d Emmaus College, Rockhampton 10
Marymount College, Burleigh Waters 4 d St Patrick’s College, Mackay 0
Shalom College, Bundaberg 24 d St Augustine’s College, Cairns 6
The Cathedral College, Rockhampton 22 d Iona College, Lindum 16
Bob Lindner Trophy semi-finals
Marist College, Ashgrove 20 d St Peter Claver College, Riverview 16
Ignatius Park College, Townsville 24 d St Mary’s College, Toowoomba 22
Padua College, Kedron 22 d St Edmund’s College, Ipswich 12
Rockhampton Grammar School 10 d St Patrick’s College, Shorncliffe 4
Neil Bloxsidge Plate final
Columba Catholic College, Charters Towers 16 d St Laurence’s College, South Brisbane 12
St Columban’s College, Caboolture 12 d Our Lady of the Southern Cross College, Dalby 0
Assumption College, Warwick 18 d Aquinas College, Ashmore 6
Marist College, Emerald 30 d Blackheath and Thornburgh College, Charters Towers 6
Confraternity Bowl final
Villanova College, Coorparoo 16 d St Teresa’s College, Abergowrie 0
St Thomas More College, Sunnybank 16 d Holy Spirit College, Mackay 10
St Joseph’s College, Toowoomba 12 d All Souls St Gabriel’s College, Charters Towers 10
St Michael’s College, Merrimac 18 d Clairvaux MacKillop College, Mt Gravatt 16
Confraternity Cup final
Chanel College, Gladstone 24 d Xavier Catholic College, Hervey Bay 4
St Patrick’s College, Gympie/Good Samaritan College, Bli Bli 14 d Good Shepherd College, Mount Isa 10
St John’s School, Roma 34 d Southern Cross Catholic College, Townsville 6
Trinity College, Beenleigh 10 drew with Ryan Catholic College, Townsville 10
Men of League Challenge final
St James’ College, Spring Hill 23 d St John’s College, Nambour 22
Mt Maria College, Mitchelton 22 d Unity College, Caloundra West 14
Emmaus College, Jimboomba 20 d St Augustine’s College, Augustine Heights 6
Faith Lutheran College, Plainland 18 d Chisholm Catholic College, Cornubia 10
Gilroy Santa Maria College, Ingham 6 d St Anthony’s College, Townsville 0
St Mary’s College, Woree 26 d McAuley College, Beaudesert 4
Confraternity Carnival Boys’ Merit Team
1 Seth Carpenter (Emmaus College, Rockhampton)
2 Phillip Coates (Marymount College, Burleigh Waters)
3 Zy Gall (Ignatius Park College, Townsville)
4 Rydell Tyrrell (St Brendan’s College, Yeppoon)
5 Bailey Anderson (St Patrick’s College, Mackay)
6 Clancy Hohn (Emmaus College, Rockhampton)
7 Tyler Melrose (St Brendan’s College, Yeppoon)
8 Oscar Laffranchi (Marymount College, Burleigh Waters)
9 Mitchell Rogers (Padua College, Kedron)
10 Baylee Meilland (Emmaus College, Rockhampton)
11 Cooper Bai (Marymount College, Burleigh Waters)
12 Leon Karena (Marist College, Ashgrove)
13 William Lane (Iona College, Lindum)
14 Kayne Smith (St Patrick’s College, Mackay)
15 Carter Ford (St Brendan’s College, Yeppoon)
16 Wyatt Lourigan (Ignatius Park College, Townsville)
17 Jake Pierce (St Brendan’s College, Yeppoon)
18 Izaya Leedie (Ignatius Park College, Townsville)
19 Jack Bragg (Ignatius Park College, Townsville)
Coach: Rohan Dixon (Columba Catholic College, Charters Towers)
Manager: Chris Lenan (Aquinas College, Ashmore)