Car­ni­val pro­duces fine rugby

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT -

The week­end’s North Queens­land Rugby Union Cham­pi­onships at the Whit­sun­day Sportspark might have been a step in the right di­rec­tion for the Mackay Stingers, but it also pro­vided a bit­ter blow for the Raiders.

In­side cen­tre Ollie Cack­ett suf­fered a se­ri­ous knee in­jury on Satur­day dur­ing Mackay’s clash with Mount Isa.

The in­jury, which will rule Cack­ett out for the rest of the sea­son, was the only blight on what was oth­er­wise a well­run, suc­cess­ful car­ni­val.

The Stingers started their cam­paign on Fri­day night against Far North Queens­land (Cairns) with a 33–7 loss.

Mackay bounced back on Satur­day to top­ple Mount Isa 34-14 and then con­cluded the week­end with one of the most ex­cit­ing matches.

Although the score­board re­flected a 31–17 win to Townsville, the game was an arm-wres­tle for more than 70 min­utes, be­fore two late tries blew the score out.

“Townsville’s tough­est game was against the Stingers, so from that point of view we can be happy,” Mackay as­sis­tant coach Rama Chand said. “You never should be happy los­ing, but Townsville have a big­ger com- pe­ti­tion and have been play­ing to­gether for some time.”

De­spite only win­ning one of their three games, Chand said the Stingers had put the build- ing blocks in place for a promis­ing fu­ture.

“I think the whole idea of this year’s team was to build for next year and the year af- ter,” he said.

“We’ve got a big­ger bud­get next year so we’ll have more time and hope­fully some more play­ers.”

QUICK HANDS: Flo­rian Marin passes out of dan­ger at the Whit­sun­day Sportspark on Satur­day af­ter­noon. Photo: Rory Sheav­ils

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