The 2018 NRL Titans Schoolboys Competition Grand Finals were played on Wednesday night with four different schools taking home trophies in what has been the largest school boy competition on the Gold Coast.
For the first time, 34 teams from 16 different schools competed in four divisions of competition. Teams travelled from as far as Forest Lake, Loganlea, Beaudesert and Elanora in the south to compete in the eight week competition.
TFH Gold Coast Titans players and local products, Keegan Hipgrave and Will Matthews attended the finals.
Hipgrave was excited to revisit his school boy memories. "It's really good to come back and see the good quality of football that's being played. This is where it all began. We played here from year 8 all through to year 12, it was good building blocks leading into the older, senior grades, and Under 20s and Queensland Cup and now first grade".
Matthews added, "It's really important for the Titans to get behind something like this, it's a great stepping stone for these young kids to be part of this. From watching the game before, you can see there's a lot of emotion in these games. It's good to see how important this is to the kids, they love it."
In what was possibly the most exciting match of the night in the Titans Trophy final, Miami SHS came from behind to snatch victory from Helensvale SHS 26-24.
Miami SHS coach Lee Freeman said "We did really well, tough game, just won by two points against a very respectful and hardworking team, Helensvale. The boys did extremely well and I'm lucky to be standing here today. Very exciting game."
"I'm very proud and thankful for the opportunity from the Gold Coast Titans. There's a lot of students at our school that don't play club football due to commitments in the classroom, so it gives them the opportunity to play rugby league which is a game that they love, and again, it's creating a culture for our junior cohort who were tonight and will build on that energy."
"The Titan's community work is extremely important to the Gold Coast, creating participation which is fantastic. The community involvement is crucial within the Titan's and they're doing a great job."
Marymount College and Titans Cup Player of the Competition, Cole Geyer, reflected on great win for his team. "This is my second year in the Titans Cup Competition. I like playing with all my school friends and just enjoying playing for school and getting ready for our trip to Confro [Confraternity Shield] this year. I'd like to thank all the coaches, and all my team mates, and the parents."
The competition started as the Titans Cup & Challenge in 2006, a two-tiered open aged competition, to provide local high schools the chance to compete against schools of a similar capabilities. After 11 years of open aged competition, a year 9/10 division was introduced in 2017, with the year 7/8 division competing for the first time this year.
NRL Game Development Officer and Competition Convenor, Wayde Kelly, stated how far the competition has come. "I have been involved with the competition for 4 years and the quality of the competition has gone up, especially in the Cup division, but we've also had a number of new divisions added in and the number of teams playing in the Trophy competition has increased.
There are 34 teams from 16 different schools across the 4 divisions and we are lucky tonight to see 4 different schools take home each one of those divisions.
Last night's Grand Finals held at the Burleigh Bears, were the highlight of the competition with some very entertaining results:
NRL Gold Coast Titans Year 7/8 Challenge
Beenleigh SHS 20 def. Forest Lake SHS 10
Player of the Competition - Brock Lennox (Merrimac SHS)
NRL Gold Coast Titans Year 9/10 Shield
Forest Lake SHS 28 def. Marymount College 22
Player of the Competition - Henry Bryant (Marymount College)
NRL Gold Coast Titans Year 11/12 Trophy
Miami SHS 26 def. Helensvale SHS 24
Player of the Competition - Harry Anderson (Varsity College)
NRL Gold Coast Titans Year 11/12 Cup
Marymount College def. 52 Keebra Park SHS 6
Player of the Competition - Cole Geyer (Marymount College)
Congratulations to all the teams that competed and well done to the winning teams.
The Gold Coast Titans would like to thank the following for their contribution to the competition –
• Sam Harreman (School Convenor)
• NRL Game Development
• The competing schools, teachers, players and supporters
• Host Venues – Coomera Cutters, Mudgeeraba Redbacks, Beenleigh Multisports Association and Burleigh Bears
• Gold Coast Rugby League Referees Association
• Brisbane Rugby League Referees Association
• NRL Accredited Sports Trainers
• Competition supporters – HART Sport, Qld Secondary Schools Rugby League, Rugby League Gold Coast