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Thursday, 18 September 2014

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Super Mac inspires Whitehaven RL kids

Pride guys: Whitehaven School’s triumphant team

By Martin Morgan

HAVEN pro Greg McNally notched 18 points to guide his school in to a national rugby league final in Leeds next week.

The teenage scrum-half, who last month signed a three-year deal at the Recreation Ground, scored two second-half tries and slotted five goals from as many attempts in Whitehaven School’s 26-6 win over Normanton High School in Manchester.

They will now face Malet Lambert of Hull in the Year 11 Carnegie Champion Schools Final.

Whitehaven High teacher Clive Burkinshaw said: “We’re smaller than everyone else, we’re faster than everyone else and we tackle hard – that’s what our success has been built on. We’ve got nothing to fear going into the final.”

He added: “I’m really chuffed with all of the lads. They’ve done the school and themselves proud. I just wish they’d come to training!”

There had been little sign of Whitehaven’s second-half romp with the scores tied at 6-6 at the interval.

James Donaldson had stretched over from first receiver to put Whitehaven ahead early on but the Manchester side drew level and then could have gone ahead had Haven full-back Nathan Corrie not pulled off a try-saving tackle.

Instead, the Cumbrians took command as McNally broke clear from 30 metres out to edge his side in front, then his clever chip was gathered by Ross Gainford to increase the lead.

McNally sealed the win with an interception try from the half-way line before adding another simple penalty in the final minutes.

Andy Harland, the RFL’s national development manager, is now looking forward to the final. He said: “The Carnegie Champion Schools tournament has developed into the world’s largest rugby league competition and the quality of these two teams is a reflection of that.”

The final will be at Leeds Metropolitan University’s Headingley Campus next Wednesday.

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