This will be closest Aaron Payne Cup yet: NRL legend
THE 2020 Aaron Payne Cup is shaping up as one of the closest ever, according to Scott Minto.
The 53-game NRL veteran will take charge of the St Brendan's College First XIII in the absence of long-serving coach Terry Hansen, who is on leave.
The Yeppoon team will look to go one better this year after being edged by just two points by Kirwan State High in last year's APC final.
They join Rockhampton's The Cathedral College, Mackay State High, St Pat's College Mackay, Ignatius Park College and Kirwan in the battle for schoolboys league supremacy in the north.
You won't miss a minute of the action with The Morning Bulletin to livestream all games from the Aaron Payne Cup and its southern equivalent, the Allan Langer Trophy.
It starts with the Round 1 game between Kirwan SHS and Mackay SHS at 1.15pm on Tuesday.
St Brendan's open their campaign against Ignatius Park at 11.45am on Wednesday, while TCC tackle St Pat's at 3.30pm.
Minto said excitement was building in the countdown to Cup kick-off.
"You look across the board this year and it's probably the strongest competition we've seen to date," he said.
"There are six teams this year, not eight, but those six teams are very strong.
"Anyone that's playing could win it, it's just a matter of who comes together the best."
Minto said St Brendan's had a "tough assignment" first up against Townsville powerhouse Ignatius Park.
The last time the teams met was in last year's APC semi-final, which St Brendan's won 16-14.
Minto said that was one of the best games of footy he had seen and he's expecting another fast and physical clash when they face off on Wednesday.
"The biggest thing for us is focusing on our performance," he said.
"I'm feeling confident that the group's ready to go."