Central Queensland – the Spotlight: Joel Morgan
March 20th, 2012
The Spotlight will be a regular blog on the quirky, interesting and new things happening for rugby league in and relating to Central Queensland. What are some former stars up to? Are there any unusual stories? And what is happening in grassroots rugby league in CQ. All we know is we’re in for another great season of rugby league!
Where are they now? Former NRL player at the Brisbane Broncos, Nick Kenny who retired at the end of the 2011 season at 29 years old is now working and based at Alyangula on Groote Eylandt, the largest island in the Gulf of Carpentaria, off Northern Territory and the eastern coast of Arnhem Land. The Rockhampton product is now aMentor apart of the QR National Scholarship Program for CQ NRL Bid, mentoring a talented young star. We have even found out that Nick was forced to play for a local Darwin Rugby Union side!
QRL Local Leagues across Central Queensland launch from last weekend into the following few weeks. Winton Diamantina Devils – birthplace of Waltzing Matilda and Matt Sing, were the 2010 and 2011 Central West champions who kicked off their campaign with a 17 to 12 victory over rivals Ilfracombe Scorpions. Ilfracombe is the home town of he World’s Best Prop Matt Scott situated near Longreach, with the town itself having a population only less than 200. Longreach and Barcaldine had byes.
Northern Districts began their 2012 season with the arrival of a new club – the Agnes Water Marlins who debuted with a triumphant 26 to 18 win over Avondale Tigers who celebrate their 50th Anniversary. Miriam Vale Magpies fought off a spirited South Kolan Sharks side 28 to 26. Gin Gin Hawks had the bye.
In Bundaberg, Brothers started their trek for a third successive premiership with a 62 to 10 win over last year’s runners up Hervey Bay, while Maryborough Wallaroos who left the BRL competition after their 2009 premiership win back into the Fraser Coast competition returned with a 30 to 18 win over Isis Devils. Easts Magpies defeated Across the Waves Tigers 40 to 22. Wests had the bye.
Late Local Mail - Rockhampton Rugby League action began on March 17, defending A-Grade premiers Yeppoon Seagulls were beaten 26 to 18 by Norths Chargers (a club once Coached and Played by CQ Legend Cyril Connell Jnr), while Rockhampton Brothers fought off a surging Fitzroy-Gracemere Sharks 24 to 18.”
An interesting fact is many Central Queenslander’s who rise to fame in the top rugby league competitions in Australia and England often tend to return home – proving regional talent have an attraction to the lifestyle in which they are brought up. This strongly relates to the CQ NRL Bid’s development program and aim of providing opportunities for juniors in our catchment first and foremost. As seen through modern CQ and RL Legends such as Kevin Campion, Justin Loomans, Matt Sing, Gary Larson, Mark Graham, Jason Hetherington, Alan McIndoe, PJ Marsh, Sid Domic and others returning to the region.
Did you know there is 70 junior clubs in the Central Queensland NRL catchment? From Mackay to the Burnett and west! The production line will be full steam ahead with more NRL development, scholarships, education and opportunities already beginning to be provided by the CQ NRL Bid!
In previous years players such as, Justin Loomans, Matt Sing, Justin Loomans and even Gary Larson among others have pulled the boots back on, while Steven Bell who recently retired from rugby league over in the Super League returned to Emerald was rumored to make a return with local side Emerald Tigers after a 10km training run, while Kevin Campion (Sarina junior) will be playing with Gladstone Valleys and Josh Hannay coaches and plays for Moranbah, while Carl Webb is rumored to be a surprise inclusion for Moranbah. A number of others with NRL and Queensland Cup experience are being drawn to theCentralHighlands, Mackay andGladstoneregions due to Central Queensland fast becoming an Economic Powerhouse forQueenslandandAustralia.
Speaking of former Greats, Steve ‘Jacko’ Jackson (Mackay) and Steven Bell (Emerald) helped launch the new Men of League Foundation branch in Central Highlands with a charity golf day in Emerald. For more information check out their website - www.menofleague.com/
Watch out! 200 police officers will battle it out at theWhitsundaySportsParkon March 27, 28 and 30 in the Queensland Police Service Rugby League State Championships with former NRL, ESL and QCup players featuring in the 8 teams, including the Central Queensland Razorbacks.
Finally, on the second week of the Easter Holidays on Thursday 12 April and Friday 13 April the inaugural Rhys Wesser “Positive or it’s Pointless” Super 9’s Shield will be held for U14’s in the fast-paced Rugby League 9’s format at Victoria Park, Rockhampton. “Teams will travel from Mackay (Western Districts) Sarina and Biggenden, while Dysart/Middlemount will combine to form a side to take on the local Rockhampton teams,” In strong contention could be the Norths Knights (Rockhampton) side who feature 4 CQ NRL Bid Development players from 2011’s U13 Squad, but an interesting part of their development is going from last in U12s to undefeated last year with a majority of the same side! Watch out for some great footy, for more information go to: http://www.qrl.com.au/?s=article-display&id=47033
NRL Focus – Mackay star Ben Barba and Daly-Cherry Evans are lighting up the NRL with strong performances. Both could be vying for a spot in the Maroons bench. While Daly is looking strong in the Dally M Points Leaderboard already, perhaps an early favourite?
Insider Focus - CQ NRL Bid CEO Denis Keeffe says the business plan is nearly ready to go after proofing the draft.
If you would like a player, team, club or any event mentioned in the Spotlight please let us know at: email@example.com or even interesting in becoming Club, Junior or Team of the Week.