Claver focused on bid for Gee Shield top spot
THE serious business of St Peter Claver College's firsts rugby league team begins today.
SPCC heads to Toowoomba to take on St Mary's College, with top spot in their Gee Shield pool on the line.
The match carries special significance for several reasons, despite SPCC already assured of finishing in the top two of their pool, which qualifies them for the semi-finals next term.
By beating St Mary's they will qualify on top of their pool.
It gives them, in theory, the easier semi-final when they play the second ranked team from the other pool.
The two Gee Shield finalists will then go into play-offs for a spot in the main draw of the National Schoolboys knock-out competition.
"It's going to be tough up there," SPCC coach Todd Riggs said.
"They're unbeaten but the form line is saying it should be an even match."
Both teams comfortably overcame Redbank Plains High on their way to today's clash.
Redbank Plains coach Michael Armstrong has given Riggs some insight, but it is nothing Riggs didn't expect already.
"They'll be big, tough country boys," Riggs said.
There is plenty to play for against St Mary's, with a potential ticket to the top table of schoolboys rugby league in Australia on offer.
But for Riggs and his team it is also a final hit-out before the school hosts the Queensland Confraternity Carnival next week.
St Peter Claver College has done well in recent seasons without breaking through for a final appearance, with a couple of top four finishes the best results.
Riggs is aiming for something similar, though his players have declared they want to reach the final.
To do that they have to beat Ipswich rivals St Edmund's College in the first game on Monday.
If they get through their early matches unscathed they will inevitably come up against one or both of the perennial Confraternity heavyweights St Brendan's (Yeppoon) and Ignatius Park (Townsville).