Kingscliff boys ready for knockout punch to claim title

KINGSCLIFF Public School is ready to put on the gloves one last time to claim the NSW Public Schools Sports Association's rugby league knockout championship.

Yesterday at Kingscliff the home side combined in an outstanding defensive effort to defeat the Hunter Valley's Windale Public 28-6. They now face Young in the grand final in Newcastle on September 25 in the fight to take home the Westmont Shield.

According to Kingscliff Primary School principal and co-coach of the side, Kiernan Houlahan, the team's performance was the culmination of a lot of hard work.

"The boys have played through seven rounds to get to this semi-final and they made the most of their opportunity to go on to the grand final," Houlahan said.

"The victory was very much a team effort, with everyone contributing."

The Kingscliff Public side, which boasts two state players in Myles Donnelly and %Caleb Ziebell, ran in six tries to one, with %Ziebell, Karl Lawton, Dominic Bailey, John Duncan, Ben O'Gorman and Brad Fuller crossing and O'Gorman and Trent Arnold each kicking a goal.

But Houlahan and co-coach Mike Donnelly will have to wait to prepare the side for its Newcastle encounter, with 10 players also heading to Sydney to compete in the NSW ARL Sevens state finals.

"That tournament is a round-robin event featuring 20 of the top sides in the state, with our boys in a pool which includes Goulburn, Central Coast, North Sydney and South Sydney," Houlahan said. "They could be playing as many as seven games in that tournament, so it will be a big test for them to back up."

Today Kingscliff High School hosts Cowra High in the high schools rugby league knockout semi-final, hoping to make it a Kingscliff double in Newcastle.

Kingscliff plays Cowra at 10am at the high school grounds.

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