Carnival produces fine rugby
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