PAYNE CUP REPLAY: Mackay SHS takes on Ignatius Park


FNISHED: Aaron Payne Cup. Watch the replay above!

MACKAY State High School coach Rowan Graham has given his side a licence to "be annoying" when they face perennial Payne Cup contenders Ignatius Park today.

Graham knows his side goes in as underdogs. He knows the hosts will be smarting after last week's shock loss to The Cathedral College and, knows few will give Mackay a chance of causing a boilover.

But the boys from Milton St showed they have exactly that in their locker when, just last week, they held 2019 runners-up St Brendan's to a draw.

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Graham said his side took a great deal of confidence from that result and would deploy a similar mindset against Ignatius Park today.

"I think (we) proved to ourselves we can be competitive in this competition. But we can't just rest on that," the coach said.

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"I'm sure (Ignatius Park) will be keen to make amends for their performance and we've spoken about that. I think our team can be annoying for them. And if we're close enough, we might also be good enough (to win)."

"Annoying", Graham said, means not letting the opposition dictate play.

Mackay let that happen in week one against Kirwan and the 46-4 scoreline reflected their poor play between the 20s.

Mackay State High School coach Rowan Graham. Photo: Callum Dick
Mackay State High School coach Rowan Graham. Photo: Callum Dick

Graham wants to see something similar to the dogged defensive determination his side showed in the dying stages against St Brendan's last week.

"We need to compete man for man and not let teams dictate to us. Let's get on the front foot and bring it to them," he said.

Against Ignatius Park, often granted the moniker of "Townsville's Rugby League Nursery", Mackay's schoolboys pedigree pales in comparison.

But name brand means nothing once the whistle sounds today, Graham said.

"These schools might not think too much of our school when it comes to rugby league. But if we can get in their face … you never know what result will come our way," he said.

"If they're not expecting much from us, well guess what …"

A livestream of the Mackay, Ignatius Park clash will be shown on this website today. The link will be available close to kick-off.

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Aaron Payne Cup Round 3 -

Ignatius Park College v Mackay State High School - 11.45am (Cowboys Challenge); 12.45pm (Payne Cup)