Iggy Park, Yeppoon in Aaron Payne Cup showdown
IT has become one the greatest rivalries in schoolboys rugby league and even an NRL premiership winner like Michael Morgan counts it among his greatest footy moments.
North Queensland powerhouses Ignatius Park College and St Brendan's College Yeppoon clash in today's opening round of the Aaron Payne Cup, and you can watch every minute of the Aaron Payne Cup action on our livestream.
All matches from the Aaron Payne Cup and Allan Langer Trophy, the symbols of schoolboy league supremacy in north and south Queensland respectively, will screen on townsvillebulletin.com.au.
That's dozens of games of league live from the competition that has produced such stars as Greg Inglis, Michael Morgan, Jason Taumalolo and Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow.
Today's big clash between Ignatius Park and St Brendan's in Mackay starts at 11.45am and is shaping up to be the first big showdown between two genuine footy schools in the annual Aaron Payne Cup, which also acts as a qualifying competition for the nationwide NRL Schoolboys Cup
And Morgan will again be donning his Iggy Park hat as the Townsville nursery begins its quest for NQ supremacy.
Morgan was part of the first Iggy Park team to win the prestigious Confraternity Shield in 2008, with his teammates including current Cowboys teammate Kyle Feldt.
Eleven years have passed since that title win and, in that time, Morgan's played 163 first-grade games, 12 games of State of Origin and represented Australian 12 times.
But he remembers his historic triumph with Iggy over St Brendan's like it was yesterday.
"They (St Brendan's) beat us fairly well in the 2007 Confro final, so there was lot to play for the following year," Morgan said.
"We played St Brendan's in the 2008 final and it was a tough game from the very start. I remember St Brendan's scoring a couple of early tries and I was thinking 'surely not again'.
"But we hit back and we won. Up until that point, it was probably my greatest moment in rugby league.
"It's a rivalry going back a long way and they're both Christian Brothers' Schools, and they have very talented footy players."
The two schools have played a host of epic encounter over the past two decades.
In 2002, St Brendan's scored a last-gasp win over Iggy to win the Confraternity title. In that St Brendan's team was a young Matt Scott.
In 2011, Iggy Park handed St Brendan's an especially painful loss at their own school field in Yeppoon to win another Confro title. In 2013, an Iggy Park team featuring future Cowboys star Coen Hess overcame St Brendan's in the Confro decider.
"Ever since that 2011 final, the rivalry has grown bigger between the two schools," Iggy Park coach Steve Lansley said.
"Iggy Park beat them (St Brendan's) on their own field in front of thousands of St Brendan's old boys, and it hurt them.
"It's one of the greatest wins Iggy Park has ever had, and St Brendan's had some really big names like Corey Oates that year."
Iggy Park and St Brendan's are seeded second and third respectively in the Aaron Payne Cup, behind top-ranked Kirwan High.
TODAY'S COWBOYS CHALLENGE (UNDER-15) AND AARON PAYNE CUP (OPEN) SCHEDULE
• Ignatius Park College v St Brendan's College.
10.45am Cowboys Challenge; 11.45am Aaron Payne Cup
Venue: Mackay Magpies
• The Cathedral College (Rockhampton) v St Patrick's Mackay (TCC)
2.30pm Cowboys Challenge; 3.30pm Aaron Payne Cup
Originally published as Iggy Park is ready to rumble in Aaron Payne Cup showdown