Katherine High School has defeated the Casuarina Senior College "Colts" 26-20 in the grand final to take home the first annual Eels Cup in Darwin.
The two Under 16s sides had been strong all year, and Eels Game Development Manager Michael Basan said their places in the decider were well-deserved.
"We’ve had 7 schools take part in the inaugural event this year, and I think the two best schools actually made the final," Basan said.
"We’re really happy with that, so we’ll be working with the development officers and the Northern Territory Rugby League and the Government to ramp up the competition next year and hopefully that 7 turns into 10 and 15 in the future."
The Katherine side bounced back from a 20-16 scoreline with two late tries in the final minutes to win the Cup 26-20, and Eels legends Nathan Hindmarsh and Luke Burt were on hand with second-rower Manu Ma'u to present man of the match awards to both sides, and the Cup and a signed Eels jerseys to the winners.
Burt was even able to fit in a visit to Katherine training early in the week as part of his two-day trip to Katherine to visit schools and junior leagues.
Katherine High School - 26 (Tries: Lachlan Braun, Jesse Braun, Thomas Watego 3. Goals: Leyland Dawson 2, Jayden Braun 1).
Casuarina Senior College - 20 (Tries: Nicky Sattler, Jonas Niki, Beau Moffatt 2. Goals: Blake Fletcher: 2)