Friday, March 17, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Dynamic Duo Jaxon And Xavier To Spearhead St Patrick’s League Campaign

A six-year bond between two of the finest rugby league prospects in Mackay has blossomed into an enterprising combination for St Patrick’s College whiz kids Xavier Kerrisk and Jaxon Purdue.

Saddling up for their final season at the College, the dynamic duo are hungry for success in 2023 and eager to bring home more silverware.

It is shaping as a busy campaign for the Queensland Country Under 17 representatives who will spearhead a powerful St Patrick’s College first grade outfit in the various schoolboys competitions this year.

Kerrisk, a skilful hooker in the Emerging Maroons Under 18s squad, and classy half back Purdue are both trump cards in new coach Ian Schifilliti’s top grade side that shapes as a force to be reckoned with.

Both 17-year-old colts have signed scholarship deals with the North Queensland Cowboys and remain an integral part of the club’s Development Program.

After impressing officials at a Cowboys pre-season camp before Christmas both players are eager to show their wares in top company.

Xavier and Jaxon were recently named in the Capricornia 18yrs representative squad to compete at the Queensland School Sport State Championships in Townsville on May 22-23.

The pair will be joined by St Patrick’s teammates in lock Kayne Smith, fullback Will Shears, centre Tenzin Cantor and prop Tyler Shandiman.

Ever since they first teamed up at Mercy College as fresh-faced 13-year-olds the duo have shared an uncanny bond on the football field that has yielded plenty of success.

Purdue and Kerrisk quickly formed a lethal spine combination as playmaker and hooker with dashing fullback Shears to help the College lift the Cowboys Challenge Shield premiership trophy in 2021.

Last year they left their mark as St Patrick’s reached the final of the prestigious Confraternity Shield and Aaron Payne Cup competitions – turning in clever performances to underline their enormous potential.

As a just reward the pair were selected in the 2022 Confraternity Rugby League Merit Team along with centre Kai Simon and lock forward Henry Thorpe with St Patrick’s current Sports Co-ordinator Mercy campus Matthew Paul named Honorary Coach in recognition of his 20 years of sterling service to schoolboy rugby league.

Both Purdue and Kerrisk began their careers as six-year-olds with their respective Norths Devils and Walkerston Wanderers JRL clubs and after 12 consecutive seasons service will focus on their schoolboy commitments in 2023.

The pair have each appeared in three Mackay & District Junior League Grand Finals with Jaxon celebrating a premiership triumph in Under 16s and Xavier collecting two championship medals in Under 14s and Under 17s.

They are also key players for the Mackay Cutters Under 18s team in the Mal Meninga Cup series and have featured prominently in the team’s early round victories over Northern Pride (24-4) and Central Capras (36-24) and last Saturday’s narrow 24-20 loss to the Townsville Blackhawks at Jack Manski Oval.

Ball playing skipper Purdue has sparked the attack while livewire Kerrisk has grabbed six tries in three games with his sharp bursts from dummy half.

By Chris Karas

Great mates Jaxon Purdue and Xavier Kerrisk will again form a crack combination for St Patrick's College on the rugby league field this season

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