Ipswich High on right path at Metro Cup
WHATEVER happens today at Karalee, Ipswich State High School's rugby league teams have achieved phase one of a bigger plan.
ISHS teams play Browns Plains SHS (year nine), Yeronga SHS (year nine) and Sunnybank (open) in the quarter-finals of the Metro Cup this afternoon.
It will be a big ask for the open team against last year's finalists.
But ISHS takes some confidence after drawing 22-all with Sunnybank in pre-season.
Since then the team has exceeded all of coach Lee Addison's expectations.
"We were very early in our development as a team then," he said. "I hope we've developed since then. I think we've come a long way."
Results so far indicate as much.
Last year ISHS finished third overall in last season's four CISSSA league competitions.
This year the school claimed the CISSSA crown, contested all four grand finals and won three.
It prompted ISHS principal Simon Riley to declare the school's rugby league program, which Addison was employed to implement, two years ahead of schedule.
This afternoon the ISHS open side is keen to defend its 2013 record.
"We're unbeaten all year in competitive fixtures," Addison said. "We're keen to keep going."
The tough part is the draw, with last year's finalists Sunnybank first up.
Addison takes the attitude that to win the competition you have to beat the best so might as well tackle them early at home.
To have made it this far means Addison has achieved step one of his plans to make ISHS one of the leading league schools in the region. "This is the first step to somewhere else," Addison said.
"We're still not near where we want to be."
Addison admitted he wasn't sure what to expect at the Brassall school after his previous job as head of the league program at St Gregory's College, Campbelltown.
"The intensity and application is in the fabric at St Greg's," he said.
So some of what Addison was trying to introduce must have been challenging to many of his ISHS players.
But he has been pleasantly surprised.
"I've enjoyed it," he said.
"With young blokes I find you can change their habits easier.
"It's not ingrained. Their attitude has been superb. The intensity and quality is light years ahead of what we expected."
- Open: ISHS v Sunnybank, 2.40pm
- Yr 10: Redbank Plains SHS v Glenala SHS, 1.30pm
- Yr 9: ISHS v Yeronga, 2.40pm
- Yr 8: ISHS v Browns Plains SHS, 1.30pm
All games at Blue Gum Reserve, South Queensborough Pde, Karalee.