GIO Schoolboys Cup: Erindale v Hunter Sports preview
Erindale College host Hunter Sports High School on Friday in the second round of the GIO Schoolboys Cup at GIO Stadium, Canberra, at 3:30pm.
The match will be serving as an undercard game for the NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the Canterbury Bulldogs played at 7:30pm.
The Schoolboy teams have been provided this wonderful experience to play on a NRL Game Day by major sponsor of the competition and also stadium sponsor GIO Insurance.
Both sides are coming off opening round losses, and are looking for a positive result to get their GIO Schoolboys Cup run back on track.
Last start Erindale College came up against competition heavy weights Patrician Brothers Blacktown and went down 28-0 in what was a courageous showing from the much younger side at Kippax Oval on June 4.
Despite this loss Erindale have taken a lot away from the match and their performance, which will no doubt serve them well coming up against Hunter Sports High School.
“We are feeling very good after that match. All boys are lot more confident and very proud of their performance. We are a young team and to play the way we did against Patrician Brothers was awesome,” said Erindale College captain Kalani Going.
Erindale College will also be boosted by the fact that they have four players coming back from SG Ball commitments to play in Friday’s game.
“Having those boys coming back is big for us. It gives us a lot more experience. Getting to run out onto GIO Stadium in front of our friends and family will be a great feeling,” said Going.
Hunter Sports High School faced past winners Westfield Sports High School at Campbelltown Stadium last week and after leading 16-6 at halftime eventually went down 36-16.
“We looked great in the first half but we are a young side and that’s where Westfield got on top of us in the second half and pulled us back in. Fatigue was probably the biggest issue, we know where we went wrong and have talked about the areas that need improving,” said Hunter Sports coach Justin Stewart.
There is no doubt that Hunter Sports will be looking to rectify that result against Erindale College on Friday afternoon. The task however becomes harder with Hunter missing key players.
“It’s a big blow for us, we will be missing our fullback, halfback and one of our front-rowers with prior commitments. But it’s the chance for some other boys to step up on what will be a tough road trip but a great experience for the boys.”
“To have GIO insurance support schoolboy football is fantastic and we thank them for providing this opportunity to these kids,” said Stewart.
Erindale graduate and Raiders star Jack Wighton said he had great memories of his Erindale days.
“Playing for Erindale was the first chance for me to get some game time when I arrived in Canberra to start playing with the Raiders and I loved the experience,” Wighton said. “It’s a great school and they have a proud rugby league history.”
Another former Erindale star, Paul Vaughan, said he’ll always have fond memories of his time at Erindale and wished the team luck for Friday night.
“Being from Canberra it was a huge positive for me to be able to go to school at Erindale and play footy for them. I’ll always have great memories of my days at Erindale,” Vaughan said. “I wish the boys all the best of luck.”