Watch the big schools derby tonight
It is a clash that has a long history and intense rivalry: Keebra Park v Palm Beach Currumbin, the south-east Queensland clash for supremacy.
And it’s on again this evening at Pizzey Park (6pm kick-off) with Titans fans encouraged to turn out and watch the match which will feature what are sure to be several NRL players of the future, and hopefully future Titans.
There will be four current Titans men who will be watching with great interest – Titans players Ryan James and Kane Elgey, both former PBC players, and teammate Agnatius Paasi who played in Keebra’s Arrive Alive Cup winning side of 2009 and former Keebra Park staffer and now under-20s coach Ben Woolf.
To make internal interest even greater, Ben Woolf – a teacher at Keebra Park for 13 years and former assistant coach – has his son Brent playing hooker for PBC tonight, after being a Keebra Park student up to 2013.
Elgey yesterday recalled his last clash with Keebra Park in 2011, when he scored a golden-point field goal to sink the local rivals 25-24 in the Queensland final of the national schoolboy cup. Unfortunately they went to Sydney for the national semi-final but were beaten by eventual winners Hills Sports High School.
James had better fortune in winning the 2008 Arrive Alive Cup with a Rod Patison-coached PBC side that included Cody Walker, Jordan Rankin and Ryan’s older brother Tim. They beat Matraville 24-22 in the final at the Sydney Football Stadium and James won the Peter Sterling Medal as player of the series.
“It’s always a big rivalry, no matter what the situation with the game,” said Elgey.
“I’ll never forget my last game against Keebra. We led 24-6 and they scored from the kick-off and it sparked a massive comeback and it went to extra-time at 24-all.
“I kicked a weird sort of field goal in extra-time, from about 10m in from the left and it just got over.”
Paasi, one of many students brought from New Zealand over the years, was in the first Keebra Park side to bring the school the national title, in ‘09. Among his teammates were Ben Murdoch-Masila and Jordan Kahu.
Woolf has seen many future NRL players go through Keebra Park including Benji Marshall, Robert Lui, Corey Norman, Sam Moa, Greg Eastwood and Isaac Liu.
“It’s only a seeding match but it could be the only time the two teams meet each other and they are always big clashes and high quality,” he said.
Both schools have become rich breeding grounds for the NRL and currently in Woolf’s under-20s are former PBC students Karl Lawton, Shaun Hudson, Shane Wright and Jed Cartwright while prop Oshea Tuiasau came through Keebra Park. Tyrone Roberts Davis, a current member of the Titans’ NYC squad, will play centre for Keebra Park this evening.
PBC are coached by Gold Coast Giants foundation halfback in 1988, Geoff Bagnall, a long-time PE teacher at the school while Greg Lenton has been the Keebra Park coach for many years, with many players farmed to Wests Tigers through an association with the school.
PICTURED: Ryan James and Kane Elgey with under-20s coach Ben Woolf (centre) ... they know the rivalry that will be on showe tonight.