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A bitter week in Brisbane ignited a flame that drove Townsville’s Ignatius Park College to a home Confraternity Shield victory today over a valiant Padua College in one of the best boys’ deciders in recent years.

Ignatius Park College won 20-16 despite scoring one less try than the Brisbane team in a final that gripped a huge crowd at Jack Manski Oval.

This was the 43rd Confraternity Shield final and it’s up there with some of the most memorable deciders in a carnival that has produced dozens of State of Origin players and more than 130 National Rugby League players.

But the scenes of jubilation as Ignatius Park College students joined their winning team for a school cry were a long way from the memories of last year.

Ignatius Park College was trying to win its third consecutive final last year and it crashed in Brisbane, failing to reach the top eight.

Coach Zeb Kyle admitted that he learned plenty from that campaign and used the knowledge to guide his players through one of the most demanding weeks of school sport during which each team plays six matches from Monday to Friday.

“You learn more from a loss than a win and no one learned more from that week than me. Today’s result doesn’t happen without last year,” Kyle said.

“Last year, we weren’t disciplined, we weren’t tough enough and we weren’t resilient. This group had all of those qualities and they showed it. I couldn’t be more proud of them.

“Padua were brave. They were really good. It was a high-quality game.”

The Confraternity Carnival is sponsored by CQ University and run by Queensland Independent Secondary Schools Rugby League. “Confro” features 52 boys’ teams and 12 girls’ teams from Catholic and Independent schools and was played this year across six fields at Brothers Townsville Football Club and neighbouring Ryan Catholic College.

Padua College only played its first game of rugby league on Monday’s opening day after switching from their rugby union season and they almost pulled off a famous Shield win against an Ignatius Park College team deep into its season.

Padua coach Gary O’Brien noted that his team had made up for its lack of time together with a fierce defensive mindset that had enabled it to overcome errors.

The visiting school needed all of that in the opening minutes of the final as Ignatius Park College camped in Padua territory. But they were unable to find a way across the line until the 24th minute when lock Jayden Ryan scored from a short ball from Chase Sheppard.

Padua hit back three minutes later through a try engineered by halfback Brock Dillon, who was not certain to play the game because of injury. His inclusion strengthened a dangerous Padua spine that helped to produce four tries – one more than Ignatius Park.

But an eight-point try awarded to Ignatius Park after five-eighth Kynan Purdy scored in the second half proved pivotal in the outcome. Padua was ruled to have contacted Purdy after scoring the try which gifted the home team a penalty goal from in front of the posts.

Padua still had a shot to win in the final minute, deciding not to convert Jayden Solien’s late try in the hope that they could go the length of the field to at least draw level.

Padua’s depth and skill, featuring the likes of five-eighth Damon Humphrys and forward Fynn Dalton, enabled it to match the perennial Confro contenders from more northern parts of the state.

This was the best that a Brisbane team had done since Padua’s win in 2005. Iona College, Lindum claimed third place with a convincing 18-0 win over reigning Aaron Payne Cup champions St Patrick’s College, Mackay in a sign that the Brisbane teams are growing in strength.

But they have to peg back Ignatius Park College which has won seven of the last 11 Confraternity Shield finals. It’s the most dominant stretch since St Brendan’s College, Yeppoon won six titles in nine years earlier in the century.

Ignatius Park College today became the first host school to claim the Shield since its win in 2013 when future State of Origin forward Coen Hess was part of its winning team.

A total of 16 teams each contested the boys’ Divisions 1 and 2 while 20 teams played in Division 3.

The Division 1 second-tier Bob Linder Trophy final went to Marist College, Ashgrove for the second consecutive year. Marist College Ashgrove defeated St Augustine’s College, Cairns 20-0.

Like Padua and Iona College, Marist College Ashgrove did not play its first game of league for the year until Monday and almost toppled defending champions St Brendan’s College, Yeppoon later that afternoon.

The Neil Bloxsidge Plate – the main prize for Division 2 teams – was won by the 1980 inaugural Shield champions Aquinas College, Ashmore 20-10 against Marist College, Emerald.

The Confraternity Bowl for the second tier of Division 2 was again won by Villanova College, Coorparoo in just its second year in the Carnival.

Xavier Catholic College, Hervey Bay again won Division 3 with a Confraternity Cup win over Townsville’s Ryan Catholic College. The second-tier Division 3 Family of League Challenge was won by St John’s College, Nambour over Southern Cross Catholic College, Townsville.

Boys’ Day 3 results


Confraternity Shield final
Ignatius Park College, Townsville 20 d Padua College, Kedron 16

Positional play-offs
Iona College, Lindum 18 d St Patrick’s College, Mackay 0
St Brendan’s College, Yeppoon 18 d Marymount College, Burleigh Waters 10
Emmaus College, Rockhampton 10 d The Cathedral College, Rockhampton 6

Bob Lindner Trophy final
Marist College, Ashgrove 20 d St Augustine’s College, Cairns 0

Positional play-offs
St Mary’s College, Toowoomba 24 d Shalom College, Bundaberg 16
Rockhampton Grammar School 20 d St Peter Claver College, Riverview 0
St Patrick’s College, Shorncliffe 12 d St Edmund’s College, Ipswich 6


Neil Bloxsidge Plate finals
Aquinas College, Ashmore 20 d Marist College, Emerald 10

Positional play-offs
Holy Spirit College, Mackay 16 d Columba Catholic College, Charters Towers 14
St Laurence’s College, South Brisbane 16 d All Souls St Gabriel’s College, Charters Towers 4
Assumption College, Warwick 12 d St Teresa’s College, Abergowrie 8

Confraternity Bowl final
Villanova College, Coorparoo 60 d Our Lady of the Southern Cross College, Dalby 4

Positional play-offs
St Columban’s College, Caboolture 24 d Clairvaux MacKillop College, Mt Gravatt 6
Blackheath and Thornburgh College, Charters Towers 22 d St Thomas More College, Sunnybank 6
St Joseph’s College, Toowoomba 10 d St Michael’s College, Merrimac 6.

Confraternity Cup final
Xavier Catholic College, Hervey Bay 18 d Ryan Catholic College, Townsville 6

Positional play-offs
St James’ College, Spring Hill 14 d Good Shepherd College, Mount Isa 10
St Patrick’s College, Gympie 22 d Chanel College, Gladstone 12
Unity College, Caloundra West 4 d Mt Maria College, Mitchelton 0

Family of League Challenge final
St John’s College, Nambour 38 d Southern Cross Catholic College, Townsville 4

Positional play-offs
McAuley College, Beaudesert 22 d St Mary’s Catholic College, Woree 12
Gilroy Santa Maria College, Ingham 20 d Chisholm Catholic College, Cornubia 0
Faith Lutheran College, Plainland 14 drew with St John’s School, Roma 14
Trinity College, Beenleigh 22 d St Anthony’s College, Townsville 14
St Augustine’s College, Augustine Heights 26 d Emmaus College, Jimboomba 22