Gympie secures grand final spot at major league carnival
RUGBY LEAGUE: Gympie's St Patrick's College boys combined with St Mary's College Maryborough have secured a place in Friday's bottom half division 3 grand final in the Confraternity Carnival in Bundaberg.
The carnival is staged by Queensland Independent Secondary Schools' Rugby League and is the largest schoolboy carnival in Australia with about 60 schools competing in two divisions.
Last year Gympie played in division 1 and just missed out on a spot in the finals.
This year half-back Matt Pearce said his side have an unbeatable combination.
"We came up here two days before the carnival started (Sunday, June 30) to gel together," he said.
"The first day was slow and rough but then we have been playing like a team that has been playing together for a while."
Pearce has been organising the troops on the field and his efforts have not gone unnoticed.
"I have gotten four man-of-the-match awards from five games," he said.
"I think I could have played better in a few games but I have been trying to execute my game which was my main focus.
"(I have been) controlling the ruck, running the boys around the field, telling them where they have to be and what lines they need to run to finish it off with the boys at the back."
Throughout the carnival, the Gympie/Maryborough combination has strengthened.
"The first two games we were trying to find our rhythm and we didn't glue well together until the third game," he said.
"We lost our first two games. We won the next three, we kinda found it (rhythm). We are feeling a lot better when we go out on the field.
"We are more confident. You know the boys beside you are going to help you all the way and get you over the line."
Gympie/Maryborough play the grand final on Friday at 11am.