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The Cathedral College began a strong defence of their girls’ Confraternity Shield title in Townsville today in the chase to play on the same stage as the women’s State of Origin decider.

The Cathedral College, Rockhampton, won both its pool matches today while its opponent in last year’s final, St Patrick’s College, Mackay, was also unbeaten.

And Marymount College, Burleigh Waters, the winner of the inaugural girls’ title in 2022, again showed its talent with a close loss to The Cathedral College in a spirited opening to the Confraternity Carnival.

The teams will play a final pool match tomorrow morning before semi-finals in the afternoon determine which teams qualify for Thursday’s Confraternity Shield final, to be played as a curtain-raiser to the women’s State of Origin clash at Queensland Country Bank Stadium.

The Confraternity Carnival, sponsored by CQ University and run by Queensland Independent Secondary Schools rugby league, features 12 girls’ teams and 52 boys’ teams and is played this year across six fields at Brothers Townsville Football Club and neighbouring Ryan Catholic College.

The Cathedral College’s victory last year was its first in Shield history in girls’ or boys’ competitions and it came through a match-deciding try to Mackayla Oakley with seven minutes remaining in the final.

Oakley featured again today as The Cathedral College edged clear of Marymount College in a match that showcased the skills of the girls’ competition in just its third season.

St Patrick’s College, Mackay, were urged on by a huge home crowd in the inaugural girls’ Shield final in 2022 when Marymount College proved too strong.

But St Patrick’s were impressive today with wins over Mt Maria College, Mitchelton and Emmaus College, Rockhampton, to show that they can again contend this year.

The Pool C teams will not contest the Confraternity Shield but they featured in highlights today including two impressive wins to local team St Margaret Mary’s College. St Ursula’s College, Yeppoon, also won both its matches to set up an intriguing pool match with St Margaret Mary’s College tomorrow morning.

Girls’ Day 1 results

Pool A
Emmaus College, Rockhampton 8 drew with Shalom College, Bundaberg 8
St Patrick’s College, Mackay 26 d Mt Maria College, Mitchelton 4
Mt Maria College, Mitchelton 20 d Shalom College, Bundaberg 14
St Patrick’s College, Mackay 10 d Emmaus College, Rockhampton 4

Pool B
The Cathedral College, Rockhampton 26 d Rockhampton Grammar School 0
Marymount College, Burleigh Waters 30 d St Joseph’s College, Toowoomba 0
The Cathedral College, Rockhampton 12 d Marymount College, Burleigh Waters 4
St Joseph’s College, Toowoomba 12 d Rockhampton Grammar School 8

Pool C
St Margaret Mary’s College, Townsville 36 d Southern Cross Catholic College, Townsville 0
St Ursula’s College, Yeppoon 24 d Emmaus College, Jimboomba 0
St Ursula’s College, Yeppoon 10 drew with Southern Cross Catholic College, Townsville 10
St Margaret Mary’s College, Townsville 62 d Emmaus College, Jimboomba 0