League choice inspires St Edmund's to best result
ST Edmund's College has proudly achieved its best Confraternity rugby league result in a generation.
While fellow Ipswich School St Peter Claver came fourth for the second successive year, St Edmund's sixth in Townsville was its best finish in the 12 years rugby league coach David Mills has been with the school.
St Eddie's won four of six games, including all three pool games to qualify fourth for the finals.
It was only when they reached the quarter finals, against eventual winner Ignatius Park that they met their match, going down 30-22.
"They played extremely well," Mills said of his players.
"It was a competitive game."
It knocked St Edmund's out of the running to claim the title, but they bounced back to beat St Augustine's College Cairns, before losing the play-off for fifth spot to St Patrick's College Mackay 44-6.
"They had a little bit too much up front for us," Mills said.
"We couldn't match it with them."
It had been the St Edmund's backs who had lit up the tournament, with Jake Turpin, Brock McNulty, Rory Humphreys and Nick Roberts causing headaches for all opposition.
Humphreys was subsequently selected at centre in the Confraternity Merit side, alongside St Peter Claver College's Fili Ioane.
Forwards Carter Auld, Schneider Auva'a and Jacob Lindsey were the others to earn the praise of the coach.
"I'm very pleased with the 20 kids that went away," he said.
"It was great to see such high-quality football across the park. We were up against some high quality opposition."
Part of the reason St Edmund's did so much better than previous years was that a host of its players committed to the Confraternity championship, rather than the Australian Independent College rugby union trials.
Humphreys represented Queensland Schoolboys last year, but passed up the chance this time to represent his school at league.
Mills lauded Humphreys' "leadership across the park".
"He and Jake are leaders in the team," Mills said.
"Both boys stepped up and defence and were very strong.
"Both played left-hand side and were dynamic."