JU­NIOR LEAGUE COMP

Western Times - - FRONT PAGE - Alexia Austin Alexia.Austin@west­ern­starnews.com

LEAGUE: The St Ge­orge Rugby League Club hosted the Bron­cos West­ern 9s com­pe­ti­tion at the week­end, with un­der-14 teams trav­el­ling from Roma and Charleville to com­pete in the round-robin game day.

The com­pe­ti­tion con­sisted of 15 games of nine-minute halves, with six nine-a-side U14 teams trav­el­ling to the Row­den Park fields for a slice of the ac­tion.

The Charleville ju­nior side showed heart through­out the com­pe­ti­tion, with ex­pert at­tack and strong de­fence, but were ul­ti­mately pipped for third place by the home team.

The Mitchell Mag­pies were crowned the new cham­pi­ons of the com­pe­ti­tion with a score of 15.5, the Carnar­von Cubs com­ing in a close sec­ond with 15.

The St Ge­orge team came in third with a score of 12.5, fol­lowed by the Charleville side on 7.

For­mer Bron­cos and in­ter­na­tional player Jack Reid was the guest of hon­our on the day, pre­sent­ing the lucky teams with their awards for sports­man­ship and best play.

Charleville player Jed Big­nall was pre­sented with the team player award for the side, with Joel Stafly tak­ing home the en­cour­age­ment award for his team spirit.

Tour­na­ment co-or­di­na­tor Kelvin Bella said the event ran with­out a hitch.

“As co-or­di­na­tor of the event, I’d like to say thank you to every­body who par­tic­i­pated, and in the fu­ture we’d like to see an even big­ger and bet­ter two-day car­ni­val in the re­gion,” said Bella.

Bron­cos game de­vel­op­ment man­ager Paul Dyer said the event was a great way to both pro­mote the sport and scout for tal­ent in re­gional com­mu­ni­ties.

“Ev­ery year that we visit the com­pe­ti­tion, the skill of the boys is of a re­ally good stan­dard. Al­though they don’t al­ways re­ceive the same op­por­tu­ni­ties as those liv­ing in city cen­tres, they love their rugby league, they train hard and a lot of them are tough kids,” Dyer said.

“The Bron­cos in­vest just un­der a mil­lion dol­lars a year in game de­vel­op­ment in ru­ral Queens­land to help school and ju­nior league clubs.

“We in­vest to pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties. To find the next Lock­yer or Beet­son, we need to have more kids play­ing and more op­por­tu­ni­ties for them to shine.”

PHO­TOS: HENNY CASH

CLOSE MATCH: A Charleville player pushes through St Ge­orge’s de­fence, strid­ing to­wards the try line.

Charleville de­fence pushes back against the Carnar­von Cubs.

The Charleville side re­fuses to be slowed by St Ge­orge.

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