Queensland Country Under 17 representative honours for star St Patrick’s College trio
By CHRIS KARAS
OUTSTANDING Mackay Cutters rugby league colts Xavier Kerrisk, Jaxon Purdue and Kai Simon have capped a memorable 2022 campaign by earning Queensland Country Under 17 representative jumpers.
The talented trio – who have enjoyed tremendous success at schoolboy and Junior League level this season – produced strong performances recently to help Country topple Queensland City 38-20 in the annual Under 17s challenge at Redcliffe’s Moreton Daily Stadium.
It was an impressive achievement by the St Patrick’s College Mackay students and North Queensland Cowboys scholarship recipients who have captured the imagination of senior rugby league officials with their skill and durability during a hectic sporting calendar.
The Queensland City v Country Under 17s clash was played as a curtain raiser to the Hostplus Cup Grand Final with Norths Devils chalking up back-to-back premiership titles after a 16-10 triumph over Redcliffe Dolphins.
Country Under 17s sealed victory with a dominant second half display to claim bragging rignts.
Power running prop Delasalle Va’a - who is contracted to the Sydney Roosters – and elusive Souths Townsville winger Rayzarlin Pearson grabbed try doubles for Country with Central Queensland Capras fullback Mutua Brown and wily hooker Kerrisk completing the six try rout.
Promising centre Simon bagged a personal tally of 14 points after potting seven goals.
Country jumped to an early 12-0 lead before City hit back with tries by prop Michael Waqa and half back Stanley Huen that were converted by five eighth Keahn Skipps.
A penalty goal by Simon gave Country a narrow 14-12 advantage at the half time break.
City struck after the interval with centre Devonte Vaivela crossing for a converted try and Skipps adding a penalty goal to give his side a 20-14 lead.
But when a rampaging Va’a burst over for a second try the Country colts clicked into top gear and stamped their supremacy through their slick backline and rugged forward pack.
The representative honours capped a big fortnight for the dynamic Simon and Kerrisk, who had earlier captained the Wanderers club to an Under 17s premiership win over Purdue’s Norths Devils in the Mackay & District Junior League competition.
All three were key players for the St Patrick’s College first grade team that reached both the Confraternity Shield and Aaron Payne Cup Schoolboy Grand Finals during a momentous 2022 campaign.