MUST WIN: The Ipswich State High School firsts are preparing for their do or die clash with perennial heavyweight Palm Beach Currumbin.
MUST WIN: The Ipswich State High School firsts are preparing for their do or die clash with perennial heavyweight Palm Beach Currumbin. Rob Williams

Ipswich High's fastest player in schoolboy footy

FORGET the fastest man in schoolboy league tag.

After being clocked at an unbelievable 36.83km/hr by GPS technology Ipswich State High School's Ativalu Lisati is the second fastest man in rugby league.

Only the Melbourne Storm's Josh Addo-Carr has him covered for pace. The fox's electrifying reading of 38.5km/hr makes him the quickest man in the game according to NRL.com.

Lisati registered his astonishing top speed during a length of the field chase following an intercept in a game recently.

Though he did not quite assail the runaway opponent, staff and students were in shock upon examining the data captured by the state-of-the-art GPS devices.

"When we saw the number come up, we were blown away," coach Joshua Bretherton said.

"We started looking back at our own records and saw that it was the quickest number we've produced."

It was not until the release of the NRL.com article showing the top speeds of the fastest men in first grade that the squad became aware of just how well Lisati's mark fared comparably. Even more remarkable, is the fact the the 18-year-old packs down in the second row.

Though not the biggest forward in the Allan Langer Cup by any means, he has drawn admiration for the speed he carries into contact and his unabating work-rate.

"He is a big body but he is not the biggest second rower in the nature of the competition that we play," Bretherton said.

"He is super competitive. He puts in high kilometre games, carries huge speed into contact and that's how he finds his front, and if he finds space he is a massive asset to the team."

 

The Ipswich State High School Langer Cup rugby league team training. Ativalu Lisati.
LIGHTNING: Ipswich State High School Langer Cup speedster Ativalu Lisati. Rob Williams

After relocating from Auckland in January to chase his NRL dream, Lisati has continued to develop as a member of the elite Ipswich High program. He has also featured for the West End Bulldogs, Ipswich Diggers under-20s and Met West.

"This program is helping a lot of people whether they make the NRL or not," Lisati said. "Everyone has their own learnings they take away with them and apply to their daily lives."

Living at Raceview with his 21-year-old brother who holds his own footballing ambitions, the pair have also been training with the Ipswich Jets.

Earning an NRL berth may be the ultimate goal but the grounded schoolboy star knows there are steps he must take to make it a reality.

In the meantime, he knows he needs to keep turning up to training and being relentless in order to honour the sacrifices of his family who remain in New Zealand.

"Remembering where I came from," he said.

"That's a big aspect of what I'm doing today. It's for my family and friends back at home."

Humble and laconic, the hard-running backrower who thrives on heavy collisions prefers the attention to be on the exceptional abilities of his peers.

"They are all very talented and have their own aspects of playing," Lisati said.

Pitted against the best schoolboy team in the country in a match they must win to keep their Langer Cup aspirations alive, Lisati and his teammates will need to have the game of their lives.

Watch the action live on Tuesday from 5.30pm via the QT home page.

Ipswich State High Firsts: Deijion Leugaimafa, Montell Newman, Elone Taufa, Bill Gase, Watjerra Briggs, Waylon Fiaii, Lachlan Williamson, Ilai Tuia, Wyatt So'otaga, Ezekiel Figota, Paea Fe'ao, Valu Lisati, Segisolo Lapana, Riley Morris, Stanley Fiso, Eremiah Babia, Shane Tolova'A, Kaya Cuthers.

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The games will appear near the top of the QT home page on Tuesday, just ahead of Ipswich High's game kicking off at 5.30pm.