In the recent annual Under-16s Titans Shield played in Ballina the Mullumbimby High School team showed just what they’re made of.
Mullum had a tough draw with their two games to be played back to back. The boys had Kingscliff HS first up, in what promised to be the game of the day.
Both teams sport players known to each other from old rivalries played out in weekend footy.
The MHS lads were enthusiastic from the opening whistle, producing nice attacking passages of play on the back of jarring defence. They helped themselves to an early two-try to nil lead. Late in the half energy levels dropped; this allowed Kingscliff back into the game after lapses in concentration from the MHS boys resulted in some dropped ball and a penalty.
The second half saw both teams turn up the intensity especially in defence; however, Mullum kept their heads in the game and piled on another two tries to run out winners four tries to two.
During the quick turn-around before the next game it was clear that block-busting prop Zac Thomas would not be taking the field again owing to a badly corked quadriceps muscle. Star players Darcy Earl and Blake DeCosta also appeared to be in doubt with injury complaints.
Callum Salisbury lightened the mood with a li’l inter-game rappin’, and after some juggling of players to cover injuries the boys were ready to take on a very large South Grafton HS.
A tired looking MHS side took the field and started the game with a tired timid-looking effort. The team from SGHS took full advantage and got away to an early lead. The MHS boys rallied to level the score at one try each after good defence forced a dropped ball in front of the SGHS goal posts. SGHS answered quickly through their No 3 (who must be the biggest man/boy in the world) to maintain their one-try lead.
The struggle continued with neither team able to gain control of the game before the half. Injuries and fatigue began to dog the MHS boys with the bench working on a very quick rotation. Players including Scott Essex, Harry Steiger, Darcy Earl, Luke Shelly, and Blake DeCosta all dug deep to shrug off injuries and take to the field to support their mates.
Intensity and purpose began to return to the play of a fatigued MHS side. As the second half progressed they turned a two try to one score line around, the team rose as one cohesive unit and were near faultless towards the back end of the game running out winners five tries to two.
As KHS and SGHS battled for second place the boys were awarded the Titans Shield by Mike Donnelly the Northern Rivers CRL game development officer. Ned Phillips was awarded player of the day after two great, hard working games. Special mention must be made of the captain Jack DeCosta, Tim Watkins, Scott Essex, who along with every one of the other boys played some outstanding rugby league. It was a great team effort from the boys that made their coach very happy.
Well done, boys.