PREVIEW: Bob McCarthy Cup Grand Final, 2016
Bob McCarthy Cup Grand Final
Mascot Public v St Therese Mascot
South Sydney primary schools, Mascot Public and St Therese Mascot, will battle it out for Bob McCarthy Cup supremacy at ANZ Stadium tonight, when the two meet in the Grand Final of the competition as the curtain raiser to the Rabbitohs’ Round 11 Indigenous Round clash against St George Illawarra.
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. The Cup has been running for over a decade, with all South Sydney Public and Catholic Schools eligible to compete in the competition.
Tonight’s game will be 15 minutes long, with the victor set to raise the Bob McCarthy Cup while also progressing through to the Legends Tournament later in the year, where they will don the Red and Green of South Sydney.
With no time allocated to play extra time, in the event of a draw, first try scorer in the Final will determine the winner. If it is a nil all draw then the team who gave away the first penalty loses, so victory is a must!
Expect a fast and free flowing game from both sides as the Rabbitohs faithful descend on ANZ Stadium in their thousands in what will be the Battle of Mascot – both teams having won through to the final with a string of solid performances in the pool stages of the tournament.
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 all those who gave of their time and were so generously devoted to making the Bob McCarthy Cup a success leading into the Final.
"Bob York, Len Harper, Cliff Pearce, John Viney, John Yeats (scorers) and Phil Jenkinson, Secretary of South Sydney Mustangs, all played incredibly important roles!
“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.
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.