ALLAN LANGER CUP: Opportunity lifting St Mary's
RUGBY LEAGUE: As St Mary's College prepares for its final Allan Langer Cup match of the 2019 season today, Shaun Packer is determined to finish on a winning note.
A keystone at hooker in a youthful side, Packer has played his role in giving a number of league powerhouses a run for their money.
Playing in the top tier of schoolboy rugby league in Queensland has proven to be a fruitful experience for Packer, who said he has relished the opportunity.
"The first few games were very physical and fast for us," he said.
"It took a while for the team to get used to, especially because we're young. We weren't used to that fast speed of the game.
"I've thought that I've fitted in pretty well with the other boys."
Packer has done more than just fit in to the side, with his explosiveness out of dummy half pitting him among the team's top tryscorers throughout the season.
"I've just tried to get the boys around the paddock and focusing on the middle forwards and telling them where to get to," he said.
"I've tried to improve on my attacking ability this year. I've tried a kicking option but mostly have focused on my running game."
Originally from Roma, Packer said his love of the game and the chance to progress had a lot to do with his decision to make the move.
"There wasn't many footy opportunities out there," he said.
"I knew most of the boys at St Mary's through rep footy already so I came out here and decided to give it a crack.
"There's a good football program here so I wanted the chance to develop my game more."
Packer's original goal when linking with St Mary's was to make the Darling Downs side, something he exceeded when making the Queensland U15s schoolboys last year.
While that is again a target, his immediate focus is on bringing home a win for St Mary's at home to Wavell SHS this afternoon.
"It's good having the home crowd here and everyone behind you," he said.
"Hopefully we can rip in, have a good game and get the win."
Round five matches of the Allan Langer Cup set to be livestreamed online today are St Mary's College taking on Wavell SHS (3.30pm), Ipswich SHS vs Marsden SHS (5.30pm) and Palm Beach Currumbin vs Keebra Park SHS (5.30pm).