A Craigieburn school rugby league team has become the first Victorian side to qualify for the final of the GIO Cup Trophy, Australia’s premier schoolboy football competition.

The team from Mount Ridley College earned a place in the final after winning the Open Age CRL Country Cup in Dubbo on August 15.

The team of 19 students travelled more than 3000 kilometres in the past month, playing matches in the southern zone qualifiers in Cootamundra before winning through to the cup in Dubbo.

Coach Hamish Pearce said the win meant a lot to the students.

He said the team made it to the southern zone qualifiers last year, but only reached the Country Cup for the first time this year.

“The hard work that they have put into training gives the elite sports program [at the school] some good credit, considering the rugby league stream is only in its second year,” Mr Pearce said.

“The school has got right behind the team and given them some excellent recognition.”

Mr Pearce said league was growing in popularity at the college, with the under-18 senior boys’ team and under-16 inter boys’ team winning state titles this year.

Mount Ridley College will take on Patrician Brothers Colleges, from Fairfield, New South Wales, in the GIO Cup Trophy final on Sunday, September 16. The match will be aired on Foxtel channel 502 from 4pm.