PREVIEW: Bob McCarthy Cup 2015
Bob McCarthy Cup Grand Final
Mascot Public v St Aidan’s Maroubra
South Sydney primary schools, Mascot Public and St Aidan’s Maroubra, will battle it out for Bob McCarthy Cup supremacy at ANZ Stadium this Friday night, when the two meet in the Grand Final of the competition as the curtain raiser to the Rabbitohs’ Round 11 clash against the Parramatta Eels.
The Bob McCarthy Cup is a seven a side Rugby League competition open to boys and girls in years five and six at primary school. Friday’s game will be 15 minutes long, with the victor set to raise the Bob McCarthy Cup as well as progressing through to the Legends Tournament later in the year.
Playing in just their second Bob McCarthy Cup tournament in 2015, an impressive St Aidan's team comprised mostly of year six students went through the tournament undefeated across their four games, to make it through to the Grand Final.
But the Grand Final berth didn’t come easy. Heading into the last minute of the side’s opening two matches, the boys in green, gold and blue found themselves behind on the scoreboard. But a combination of calm and determination saw St Aidan’s score on the bell to claim victory in what would prove to be a vital source of confidence.
Please note kick off for the Bob McCarthy Cup Final has been moved to 6:55pm this Friday night
St Aidan’s built on that momentum in their following two games by scoring two massive wins by 24-0 in their final pool game and an ominous 36-6 victory in the Semi Final.
But while St Aidan’s may be relatively new to the competition, when it comes to experience, Mascot Public possess it in spades – the school winning four of the first seven Bob McCarthy Cups ever contested.
Comprised mostly of enthusiastic Year 5 boys, Mascot proved to be a gutsy outfit during the course of the tournament – often against older opposition. The side would ultimately go through the competition with three wins and a single loss against St Therese.
A show of true character and will was needed by the Mascot side when they faced St Therese for a second time in the competition – this time in the Semi Final.
Mascot Public would ultimately triumph in a thrilling 22-20 victory to book their place at ANZ Stadium for the Grand Final.
With only 15 minutes in which to claim victory, expect a fast and free flowing game from both sides as the Rabbitohs faithful descend on ANZ Stadium in their thousands.
NRL Game Development Officer (Metro) and former Rabbitoh, Paul McNicholas, praised the Bob McCarthy Cup concept while thanking those who gave of their time freely in volunteering to make the competition function.
“Rugby League is all about community, and without amazing volunteers in our community, competitions like the Bob McCarthy Cup just don’t happen,” said McNicholas.
“I’d like to thank Bob York, Robert and Annette Saelman, Les Crane, Neville Peters and John Viney for the time they so generously devoted to making the Bob McCarthy Cup a success leading into the Final.
“Because of that contribution, these kids get to play on ANZ Stadium in front of thousands of Rabbitohs Members and supporters – It’s the dream of every aspiring Rugby League player to get a chance like this.
“Get out to the game early on Friday night and cheer on these great young teams!”
Friday Night Football returns this Friday night when the Rabbitohs take on the Parramatta Eels in a Round 11 blockbuster at ANZ Stadium. Pre-purchase your tickets now!
Who is Bob McCarthy?
As both schools go head to head for the Bob McCarthy Cup, we take a look at the Rabbitohs legend for whom the competition is named.
Bob McCarthy is a living legend of South Sydney who was part of the Rabbitohs’ golden era in the 1960s and early 1970s, playing 211 first grade games and scoring 100 tries in the cardinal and myrtle as well as coaching the team.
McCarthy is a Souths Junior who went on to become a multiple Premiership-winner with the Rabbitohs as well as earning himself State and National selection in the process.
Despite his bulging list of achievements, it wasn’t until after the introduction of limited tackle football in 1967 that McCarthy – once shunned by international selectors for his wide-running style – began to be recognised as the innovator he would go on to become. He is best known for his 80 metre intercept-try in the 1967 Grand Final against Canterbury-Bankstown.
But even in retirement, McCarthy continues to etch his name into Club folklore.
At the 2014 Grand Final between the Rabbitohs and the Bulldogs, it was McCarthy who had the honour of ringing the bell that was rung at the first ever Rugby League match in Australia. The bell had been rung upon Souths’ readmission to the NRL in the early 2000s, and was not to be rung until the Club made another Grand Final.