JPC hunts victory
JOHN Paul College 1st XIII takes on today arguably the state’s toughest opponents in schoolboy rugby league.
The team will challenge St Gregory’s, Campbelltown, in a quarter-final of the Catholic Colleges Cup.
St Greg’s will boast a host of Australian and New South Wales schoolboy representatives and the school has been a breeding ground of NRL talent for decades.
But JPC coach Tony Abbotts remains quietly confident despite holding underdog status.
“Anything is possible in the game of rugby league,” he said.
“We advanced to this stage after a strong 40-12 win against the more-fancied Casula team from Western Sydney and this ranked us in the top eight Catholic schools in the state.
“That win highlighted our excellent skills and solid defence.”
In that game JPC began nervously and was down 6-0 after less than a minute of play.
It hit back with two quick tries to lead 12-6 at the break, aided and abetted by an outstanding defensive effort that shut down numerous Casula attacking raids.
An inspirational performance by skipper Brandon Lee following the resumption set the winning course.
He suffered a badly corked thigh but still managed to play on, inspiring teammates Lachie Miller, Matt Mulrooney, Silas Robbins and Tim Higgins to cut loose.
“This allowed the space to move the ball wide and they turned on an entertaining display of attacking football,” Abbotts said.
Today’s JPC line-up will be one of the best to represent a Coffs Coast school but coach Abbotts marked down one name to watch and those who’ve seen the youngster in action will back his eye for talent.
“We have a magnificent second-rower in Macauley Dawson,” he said.
“His speed, athleticism and footwork make him one of the most exciting young men to have played for the college.”