The Spot Light – Joel Morgan

Where are they now?

Gary Larson currently works for the Gladstone Ports Corporation, while is apart of the CQ NRL Bid as a bid team member, Ambassador and also Mentor for a QR National Scholarship holder.Gary like various former CQ Legends as his own local ground named after him in Miriam Vale – “Gary Larson Oval”. After a few years away from coaching he is now back at Tannum Sands Seagulls and they kickoff their campaign in the GRL this weekend – rivals Brothers are early favourites having taken out the Pre-season Cup.

In other CQ Local League action Easts Magpies lead the Bundaberg Agrade premiership after a 38 to 22 win over Isis Devils, Wests Panthers gave Waves Tigers another loss 46-26, while Hervey Bay Seagulls put on a 90 point turn around (62-10 loss against Brothers in Round 1), winning 30 to 10 over Wallaroos (who were one of the early favourites). In the Northern Districts, newcomers Agnes Waters had another win 38 to 18 over Gin Gin and Avondale won 40 to 16 over South Kolan. The Marlins now face defending champions Miriam Vale Magpies. In Rockhampton action, Norths Chargers beat defending premiers Yeppoon Seagulls 26 to 18, while Brothers produced a 24 to 18 win over Fitzroy Gracemere Sharks. The match of the round goes to Brothers vs Norths this weekend in what is always a fiery affair between the clubs in one of the great rivalries in Queensland Rugby League, Brothers founded 1918 – Norths in 1921, the remain around 29 local A-Grade premierships each! With the likes of Duncan Hall, Rod Reddy, Cyril Connell Jnr, Steve Crear, Phil Sears and more playing for the clubs.

In a battle of the west, Central Highlands beat Central West 26 to 24 for the annual Drummond Cup representative match.

The strong Mackay Rugby League competition begins this weekend with several former NRL and Queensland Cup players involved, including Josh Hannay, Mitchell Sargent and a rumoured Carl Webb signing at defending champions Moranbah Miners up against Mackay Norths. Other games include: Wests v Brothers, Sarina vs Proserpine and Magpies vs Souths.

Did you know?

CQ have over 130 (40 of which are State of Origin) Queensland representative players since 1908?

The ARLC on Wednesday confirmed elite youth now being able to participate in an U20’s State of Origin match for the Darren Lockyer Shield that will be played during a representative weekend on April 21st at Penrith. The best players from the NRL, NYC, QLD and NSW Cups will be selected. The game will be televised live on FoxSports. One thing that has been brought up by certain media already is this may lead to more NZ bred talent switching allegiances (many migrate for sport or in their teens). How about aPacificIsland vs. New Zealand U20 match or Emerging Moari vs Pacific Island to provide them with a representative opportunity?

Focusing on our own highly rated talent among the 23+ NYC CQ juniors that may receive attention will be Stars such as Dean Blackman (Yeppoon), Simon Gregory (Rockhampton), Patrick Kaufusi (Bundaberg), Daniel Levi (Gayndah), Corey Oates (Baralaba), Sam Bernstrom (Gin Gin), Rhyse Martin (Prosperpine), Kurt Mann (Longreach), Kailem Perkin (Mackay) and Stephen Coombe (Rockhampton), Sam Foster (Prosperpine) and Roger Dean (Sarina).

Intrust Super (Queensland) Cup leads into round 3 this weekend with the Capras returning to Gladstone for the first time in 2 years taking on Souths Logan Mapgies at Marley Brown Oval on Saturday at 7pm. Show your much needed support for the rebuilding Capras!

The Mackay Cutters have had a mixed start with two losses but closely fought matches against Northern Pride and Redcliffe Dolphins – two strong clubs with good (feeder) relations with NRL clubs. Their new Virgin Australia Stadium in Mackay is now widely regarded as the best regional rugby league facility and has a current capacity of 12,000.

The annual Cyril Connell (U16) and Mal Meninga (U18) Cup’s have been underway for 3 rounds. Central United sides are without a win; however rely on players from regions through the state, including regions such asCentralHighlands, Central West, Widebay and even South West. While the CQ Capras and Mackay Cutters have selected players from their immediate area due to training constraints. Capras were U16 runner’s up in 2011, but have had a mixed start (due to mistakes) from their 3 matches going down 32-24 against Townsville Stingers (benefit from NRL development systems and Academy coaching), beating Central United and drawing 18 all against Sunshine Coast. Capras went down 40 to 22 in the U18s facing several CQ juniors contracted to the Cowboys, including Dan Clarke with 2 tries – but had 2 strong wins againstSunshineCoastand Central United. Mackay another strong product line have had several U18s contracted to NRL clubs and have had 1 win from 3 in the CC and 0 from 3 in the MM Cup’s.

Another great junior event in Central Queensland is the 2012 Jason Hetherington Cup - U12′s Carnival is back again on Friday 6th July until Sunday 7th July 2012 at Gladstone Junior Fields, For more details go to www.gdjrl.leaguenet.com.au

 The first Capricorn Region Women’s Rugby League competition begins on April 14. The first match will be the Kaitlin Moss (Queensland Maroons women player) lead Norths Chargers vs Yeppoon Seagulls (Amanda Ohl – Central United player) at Browne Park and second game at Marley Brown Oval in Gladstone between Gladstone and Central Highlands. The Women’s competition will also feature a double header before the Capras Intrust Super Cup match in round 2 on 22 April at Browne Park.

The competition will allow for an even stronger Central United side picked after the Central Carnival (47th Battalion Carnival) on May Day weekend.

Central Queensland is fast becoming a stronghold for Women’s Rugby League with now 14 teams in Mackay, Bundaberg-Burnett and Capricornia.

NRL Focus – David Taylor (Blackwater) has signed a 2 year deal with the Gold Coast Titans, while Mackay youngster Dane Gagai re-signs with the Broncos until the end of 2014.

Insider Focus – the spotlight in the next few months may begin to shine onCentral Queensland. Remember there is always the tough roughie waiting to strike.

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