The Spotlight – Mackay NRL Support A Success

If Sunday’s NRL match in Mackay shows anything, it’s that Central Queenslanders will be strong supporters at the elite level. A sell out was expected and achieved with all tickets sold and the official crowd attendance set at 11,876. The message it should show is an obvious passion for the game with CQ fans willing to support the game they love “rain, hail or shine” with fans braving abnormal Central Queensland cold and windy conditions to turn out in full support.

The three major group contributors toward attendance were clearly families, friends and fan groups. With Central Queensland possessing a massive base of 40,000 active rugby league participants many of those included would be families, players and volunteers it will prove to draw in big crowds, after all the loyalty and passion for a true community oriented club is ingrained to regional areas!

What a CQ NRL Club will thrive on is GREATLY increasing major events that will attract not only these active participants but large groups of fans and friends from all over the region, which was evident in Mackay on Sunday.  Having an event of this caliber in CQ is a VERY RARE treat but for those in capital cities it’s the norm! It’s time to reward the huge appetite and craving for NRL football – nearly 40,000 on the petition with the CQ NRL Bid recently revising it’s goal yet again to now 50,000! Become a Bid member today at http://www.cqnrlbid.com.au/members/  and become a new member for FREE or renew membership at the CQ Leagues Club.

One unfound criticism from rival fans has been Central Queenslanders outside the immediate Rockhampton region won’t attend games or travel long distances – how wrong this has shown to be as fans travelled in their droves to Mackay from Rockhampton,Gladstone,CentralHighlandsand other regions. The average eight hour round trip from Rockhampton for the many fans who attended is a massive tick in the box for proven support, if over 100 years of support isn’t enough already.

What I’ve noticed with the two CQ television opportunities for the last two weekends is the phenomenal support and atmosphere a LOCAL SIDE has compared with the Bulldogs vs. Storm atmosphere. The 12,000 in support clearly thoroughly enjoyed the experience with support shown for both sides and the freakish talent on display, particularly with the loudest cheers reserved for Mackay boys, Ben Barba and Dan Nielsen. An interesting point the 2,500 watching the Capras in Rockhampton on June 17 was on average just as consistently vocal than the NRL match, likewise with the earlier NRL curtain raiser for the Mackay Cutters QCup game on Sunday. Utilising the strong support Central Queenslanders have for their local team and converting that to OUR OWN NRL CLUB will add to the NRL one of the most vocal fan bases and best atmospheres within the elite spectacle.

NRL draws in the hearts and minds of Central Queenslanders. When we are given an opportunity the desire and hope in these early phases will turn into something that has never been felt Central Queenslanders before! Our SUPPORT can not be ignored any longer.

Home coming – passion for Central Queensland

Ben Barba’s home coming was the big draw card for the major NRL event and clearly it did not disappoint with “Benny” as he is known by locals dominating with a MOTM performance in a defensive orientated game.

Barba’s clear passion for his home region and family is experienced greatly in his post-match reactions reported by Steve Mascord “An hour after engineering the try of the season, Canterbury fullback Ben Barba seemed to be hyperventilating as he was interviewed, sucking in short, sharp breaths as if his life depended on it. Asked if he was OK, the Queensland State of Origin hopeful answered: ”I’m still in shock. I’m still coming to terms with today.” ”There’s more of my family inside the sheds now than teammates,” he said, still puffing. ”I knew, coming and playing for my friends and family that I grew up with, I was always going to be nervous,” ”It’s a dream come true to come home here. It’s another thing to beat a side likeMelbourne - as I said - in front of my family and friends. Let’s hope this dream can be a more consistent reality for CQ juniors and future stars.

Junior Capras support Scott Family

Capricorn Region Juniors Chairman, Phil Shield said on the weekend they will be dedicating their first match of the QRL Juniors Campaign to Matt Scott’s mother (Scott being both a Central West and later a Central Highlandsjunior before boarding St Brendan’s College in Yeppoon. Shield: “As Chairman of the Jnr Capras I was saddened. The Capras will be playing there first game at the QRL State Carnival at Kawana on the SunshineCoaston Wednesday and I will be asking them to wear black arm bands for Matt in remembrance of his dear mum.”

State of Origin 3 Focus

In one of the most anticipated deciders in recent memory, Queenslandhave chosen to go with experience rather than blood too many for those possessing injuries. Ben Barba would have to be the most controversial non-selection after making 16 Tackle Breaks, 198 running metres, 3 line breaks and 2 try assists in his MOTM performance at his hometown!
JT will also equal our own Gary Larson’s record for most consecutive Origin games played, with 24, while also just needs two points to be the 2nd highest point scorer behind Monto’s Mal Meninga (thanks to a contact for bringing this to attention)

CQ NRL Bid Development Focus

How’s this for a mention? CQ NRL/QR National Scholarship recipient, Kalyn Ponga, is already being looked at. Keep in mind, juniors can not be signed until they are 15 years old.

Discord  rleague.com - On page 23 of today’s League Week, I’ve done a story on Luke Patten and Clinton Schifcofske. The latter is in his first year as a player agent, the former is about to start a similar path. Schifcofske wanted me, and you, to know something. He’s found a 14-year-old who, he says, is “as close as you can get to a sure thing”. His name is Kalyn Ponga and is described as “Quade Cooper, Shaun Johnson and Benji Marshall all in one” Remember where you read it first.”

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