Eddies' contenders striving for perfection
RUGBY LEAGUE: Having decisively dispatched of all-comers the undefeated St Edmund's College year 9 outfit is on track to record a rare perfect season in the inaugural AIC competition.
Triumphs over Villanova, St Laurences, St Patrick's and Marist Ashgrove have the talent-stacked side joining the year six Rookies as the Ipswich College's great premiership hopes.
In the box seat, players are preparing for their toughest test to date tomorrow when they lock horns with unbeaten Iona College in a top-of-the-table blockbuster that will more than likely decide the title.
Iona has performed consistently and matched St Edmund's for dominance in the cut-throat round robin. The AIC sporting stronghold enters the clash edging the blue and white on for and against.
St Edmund's year 9 coach Andrew Kirk said if his charges could overcome the boys from Lindum it would represent the culmination of a lot of hard work and commitment.
"It would be perfect,” Kirk said.
Endowed with exceptional athleticism, abundant skill and an iron collective will, the squad is spearheaded by cunning halfback Zane Kartz, lethal fullback Ryan Cascia and tireless lock Larry Siala.
The general Kartz guides the team seamlessly. The classy playmaker is blessed with a silky passing game and enviable vision which he deploys with great effect in the opposition red zone.
Dangerous custodian Cascia possesses scintillating speed, footwork to rival the most agile and a cool head under extreme pressure. He is an ever-present threat.
Captain Siala is a representative star. The titanic forward holds the middle third with authority and demonstrates important leadership qualities.
With the trio setting the standards, the year 9s play an irresistible brand of rugby league.
Throwing the ball around, they are capable of posting points from anywhere on the field resulting in some remarkable long-range efforts.
In a season highlight, Kartz and Cascia combined from within their own in-goal to race 110m to register a four-pointer and break St Patrick hearts.
Kirk's team may have been unassailable on the field, but it is its ability to think independently, adapt when necessary and apply new strategies that has their mentor in awe.
"They are a thinking team,” Kirk said. "We've been introducing them to basic patterns and structures, and playing left and right side.
"The most pleasing thing is seeing them apply those in games and execute, and seeing the structures work.
"It has been a really positive season. They have played outstanding footy.”
Kirk said all but one member of the year 9 side took part in club rugby league and that player was involved in rugby union outside of school.
He said players had gained additional skills through taking part in both league and union at the college.
He said many of the same students featured in each sport and combinations had flourished as the they benefited from maintaining continuity and playing together across the year.