For only the second time, Kiama High School has won the WG Buckley Shield.
The under 14s boys, took out the statewide rugby league knockout competition, when they defeated Bass High School 10-6 in the final, at Campbelltown Sports Stadium last week.
The competition began in April with a zone carnival, incorporating schools from the South Coast.
The winners of each zone then progressed to the regional carnival at Albion Park’s Centenary Field in May.
The Kiama boys won both carnivals, and alongside one other team from the region, progressed to the final five rounds of the competition.
From then, they played teams from all over NSW.
Firstly, they went up against Ashcroft High School, from Sydney’s south west, in June, who they defeated 42-16.
In the following round, they travelled to the Riverina, where they defeated Tumut High School 20-10, in the quarter-final, before Kempsey’s Melville High School made the trip south, to take on the boys on their home turf in August, who they beat 18-12.
“Once we entered the rounds with all the other finalists from each region, we were pretty much outmatched for size in every game,” coach Tim Poppett said.
“They are a team full of really talented footballers, and they’re all great defenders and super tough – they out skilled and outlasted them and never let up.
“They just keep working and they wear teams down.
“They frustrate them, they never lack in defence and they’ve got a lot of flare and talent in attack, so when they do get the opportunity, they tend to strike.
“Really it’s the depth of talent right across the field that made them so successful.”
Dylan Egan won player of the final and player of the series for the entire competition.
Mr Poppett said other notable players included Wes Pring, Noah Morphett, Taj Ford, Kane Graham, Ashton Ward and Hamish Stewart.
“One that really caught my attention, and who improved out of sight was Ayden Curll,” Mr Poppet said.
“He was on the bench with this team last year and one of the starting players over in Canada for an exchange – he’s really stepped and playing really, really well.
“He’s improved and impressed me every week.”
Mr Poppett said they boys took the win in their stride.
“They were all really excited and they’re fairly humble – it took a little while to sink in,” he said.
Kiama High School won the competition for the first time in 2012.
“Prior to that we had not won it,” Mr Poppett said.
“The convener has already put the pressure on to win next year, because he’s seen our under 13s in action and he thinks we can go back-to-back.
“We’re excited about the under 13s, hopefully we’ll give it another good nudge next year.”
Kiama High School under 14s player list
- Wes Pring
- Mathew Laughton
- Kyle McCarthy
- Braxton Doherty
- Beauden Anderson
- Ashton Ward
- Taj Ford
- Kane Graham
- Noah Morphett
- Ayden Curll
- Callum Roberts
- Dylan Egan
- Hamish Stewart
- Jaxon Lavender
- Liam Holland
- Cooper Harrison
- Kyan McCallum
- Jasper Scobie
- Travis Dickson