Colts 7 in a row - Academy v Bulldogs

Local area school Aquinas Catholic College at Menai has won the NSW All Schools Under-15 Knockout in capturing the state title for an unprecedented seventh year in succession.


The Aquinas team, which includes a number of players in the Sharks Academy and junior development program including Blayke Brailey, Dean Tatsis, Dylan Xerri, Kyle Flanagan, Matt Baker and Reece Burns, ran out 14-6 winners over McCarthy Catholic College (Penrith) in the final stage on Wednesday at St Marys.


They also got the better of McCarthy the previous year, winning that match 7-6 with a late field goal.


The victory means that the bulk of the team that played this week have now won every age group title either representing Aquinas College or the associated Holy Family Primary School at Menai, beginning at under 9s.


Also on Wednesday the Sharks hosted the Bulldogs in Academy matches played at Remondis Stadium.


The Sharks gave a good account of themselves against noticeably larger opposition, with the 13s, 14s and 15s competitive and the 17s running out convincing winners.


In the 13s the youngest Sharks squad led four tries to three with time running out but two late Bulldogs scores allowed them to edge out the home team.


The 14s match saw the Sharks outgunned by the physically bigger Bulldogs side. They fought hard throughout despite going down by seven tries to two on the night.


The 15s saw a slick Bulldogs side cross the stripe three times compared to just one four pointer from the Sharks, with the Cronulla try a spectacular length of the field effort started and also finished off by Ryan Longville from the Engadine Dragons club.


In the 17s, despite giving up plenty of size to their opponents it was a willing Sharks outfit, a team featuring a number of under 16s boys in the squad, who notched an impressive five tries to two victory. Tyler McIlroy in the centres and fullback Ryan Cummins were amongst the try scorers for the Sharks.


All games were played over two 25 minute halves with no kicks for goal.


Sharks academy players in the 15s and 17s will continue with strength work under the supervision of Sharks training staff in the lead up to Matthews Cup and SG Ball trials, while the 13s and 14s now return to their clubs ahead of junior league finals, with SATS squads to be selected again in those age groups at the end of the current season.