There’ll be plenty of players to watch in Sunshine Coast school rugby grand finals next week.
There’ll be plenty of players to watch in Sunshine Coast school rugby grand finals next week.

Finals fever: 10 players to watch in school rugby deciders

After an action-packed season, students will lace up one last time in a bid to snare ultimate bragging rights when the schoolboys and girls rugby deciders kick off.

After six rounds of competition, the region's top teams will descend on Maroochydore Rugby Club on Wednesday to face-off in an array of grand finals.

Sunshine Coast Grammar has been a standout school, set to feature in four of the five finals on the day.

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They'll play Siena in the U18 boys final, St John's College in the U18 girls, Chancellor in the U16 boys and Good Shepherd Lutheran College in the U14 boys.

Meanwhile, James Nash will battle Siena in the U16 girls decider.

With school pride on the line, teams are poised to step up for the big dance, with plenty of players set to shine.

 

 

Heading into the grand final showdown, the Sunshine Coast Daily asked coaches of the top U18 sides who they expected to rise to the occasion.

U18 SCHOOLGIRLS:

ST JOHN'S COLLEGE

St John's College teenager Gracie Wright is enjoying a strong schoolgirls rugby season.
St John's College teenager Gracie Wright is enjoying a strong schoolgirls rugby season.

Gracie Wright (Fly half)

"Our captain and leader. Has been pivotal in building girls rugby at St John's College and is a terrific role model for any young female rugby player," coach Luke Zeremes said.

"Solid in attack with a great passing game and extremely reliable in defence.

"Her breakdown presence is top notch and has a massive work rate."

Keira Smith (Inside centre)

"Elusive runner in attack with a good passing game," Zeremes said.

"Her ability to steal the ball at the breakdown and the courage she shows in doing so is commendable.

"Has proven to be one of the strongest players in the U18 competition this year."

St John's Ella Warren. Photo: Patrick Woods
St John's Ella Warren. Photo: Patrick Woods

Ella Warren (Utility)

"One of the longer serving members of the SJC team, Ella is a strong and aggressive runner of the ball in attack while being savvy at the breakdown and tenacious in defence," Zeremes said.

"She can competently cover any position on the field and has an excellent work ethic."

SUNSHINE COAST GRAMMAR

Imogen McLeod

"Imogen is a real leader in that group and she's played a lot of representative footy," assistant coach Will Urquhart said.

"We have a lot of girls that haven't played lots of rugby however she's been excellent within the group.

"She is a physical presence, she understands the game and she's got a really good pass and she is really good in defence as well."

Kaylee Foster

"She's a great attacking and defensive player on both sides of the ball," Urquhart said.

"She is a really good decision maker and she is an attacking threat every time she gets the ball."

U18 SCHOOLBOYS:

SUNSHINE COAST GRAMMAR

Sunshine Coast Stadium. Grammar's Nick Lloyd. Picture: Warren Lynam
Sunshine Coast Stadium. Grammar's Nick Lloyd. Picture: Warren Lynam

Nicholas Lloyd (Fullback)

"He's a really good attacking weapon at fullback and hasn't played there much there this year but has been really good at the back for us in the last few weeks," Urquhart said.

Adam Johnson (Outside back)

"He has been a surprise packet this year and improves week in and week out," Urquhart said.

"He is really good defensively at 13 and I think we're going to have to be good in that channel against Siena come Wednesday night next week.

"He's obviously a really good attacking weapon as well and runs some really nice lines."

SIENA CATHOLIC COLLEGE

Siena's Ethan Akers. Picture: Warren Lynam
Siena's Ethan Akers. Picture: Warren Lynam

Ethan Akers (Inside centre)

"Ethan is the captain of the side and he leads by example," coach Ken Bolton said.

"He's a terrific defender and runs the ball really well.

"The boys like to follow him and he can change the momentum of the game just simply with his defence, getting up in people's grills and shutting things down."

Siena player Tim Schmidt takes on the defence. Picture: Warren Lynam
Siena player Tim Schmidt takes on the defence. Picture: Warren Lynam

Tim Schmidt (Outside centre)

"Tim's defence has also been superb, and he runs the ball exceptionally well too," Bolton said.

Jordan Dick (No 8)

"He's a really excellent ball carrier with excellent footwork and is very strong in defence," Bolton said.

"He's, I guess you could call him gangly or lanky, but he's just elusive and his footwork is really good. He always manages to poke through the line and set us up going forward.

"Then in defence, he's quite strong and always really consistent.

"He doesn't miss a tackle.

"The boys take inspiration from that because he's just committed and full on all the time."



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