Nathan Tolley in action for his club side Marist Brothers. Tolley competed in the University Rugby League World Cup for Austral
Nathan Tolley in action for his club side Marist Brothers. Tolley competed in the University Rugby League World Cup for Austral

Star student

By STEVE SPINKS

MARIST Brothers rugby league fullback Nathan Tolley faced down a haka, scored a try in a curtain-raiser to Origin III at Suncorp Stadium and played in the final of the University World Cup.

You could say he's had an exciting few weeks.

Tolley, a student at Southern Cross University, played with the Australian Universities side in the final of the Student World Cup in Brisbane on Saturday.

Unfortunately, the Aussies were knocked over by a much bigger New Zealand side 17-8 in the final.

But it wasn't all doom and gloom for Tolley.

"It's a bit disappointing because in the end we got beat," he said.

"But it was quite a good match to be in and it's been an awesome couple of weeks."

Tolley played on the wing and in the centres for the Australian team, which started its campaign with a thumping 64-6 victory over Scotland.

The 20-year-old scored two tries.

Then it was on to the cauldron of Suncorp Stadium on Origin night for an early round clash with the Kiwis, who were the defending champions, where once again Tolley managed to score a try.

"We beat them 34-14 because we got to play the game our way," he said.

"I remember running down the tunnel out on to the stadium.

"Obviously there wasn't a hell of a lot of people there but by the time we'd finished it was starting to fill up."

"We were in the Queensland dressing sheds and just to see that with all the spas, state of the art equipment, hot and cold baths and individual dressing compartments was good."

Tolley acknowledged Suncorp had marginally better change rooms than his regular home ground of Oakes Oval.

"Just slightly," he chuckled.

After defeating New Zealand, Australia knocked over Wales and then France in the semi-finals, before meeting their match against the Kiwis.

And Tolley has the opportunity to do it all again.

He's only in the second year of a four-year degree in Human Movement and Education.

If he does win selection next year, he's hoping the side might tour a more exotic location.

Former Marist Brothers team-mate Brett Spears was part of the Australian team that toured the United Kingdom and France last year ? Tolley got to travel two hours north to Brisbane.

NEW ZEALAND 17 (G Taunga 2 tries; F Jacobson 2 J O'Brien 2 goals; J O'Brien field goal) d AUSTRALIA 8 (K Stephenson 2 tries) at Langlands Park, Brisbane.

Playoff for third: France 31 d England 12.



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