Former Comets captain Nat Bowman was a part of the Ian Munns Memorial Team at the Indigenous Reconciliation Carnival at Browne Park.
Former Comets captain Nat Bowman was a part of the Ian Munns Memorial Team at the Indigenous Reconciliation Carnival at Browne Park. CHRIS ISON CI

Reconciliation comp draws crowd

IT was always a certainty that the crowds would flock to Browne Park for the 2010 Indigenous Reconciliation Carnival and organisers have not been disappointed.

And the crowds that have filled the grandstand have not been disappointed with the activity on the park either. Yesterday the competition was into the quarter-final stages with semi-final matches on the park yesterday evening.

The game of the carnival was set to be the semi-final clash where the 2009 Cherbourg Hornets were facing their traditional rival the Central Queensland Warriors from Woorabinda.

The Warriors again have the advantage of star NRL recruit David Peachey in their line-up, but he was there last year and couldn’t stop the mighty Hornets from winning the competition.

A surprise package in the main competition has been the Bundaberg Eels, who had also progressed into last night’s semis.

The Eels have also been able to boast a big name player with former New Zealand international Sean Hoppe a member of their squad.

Carnival director Walson Carlos said he was delighted with this year’s event.

“It has been really good, it is a great venue and everything has gone off well,” he said.

Unfortunately, one of the carnival draw cards Andrew Walker was a no-show with the Ipswich team, but that side was successful in making it to the quarter-final stages where it ran across last year’s losing finalist Ghungalu.

In that match Ghungalu started well putting two tries on the board early .

However, the match turned into a thriller with Ipswich getting through to the last four with a 20-16 win after the match going to “golden points”.

Carlos said one thing he has been delighted with was the support of Gladstone clubs with two entered.

No club sides entered from Rockhampton area this year, although many players were part of composite teams. Carlos said this was something organisers would address in 2011.

An interesting line-up was the Ian Munns Memorial team, which boasted nine players in the squad bearing the Munns surname.

Despite having players of the calibre of 2009 Comets captain Nat Bowman and Pete Penai, the side was eliminated by Cherbourg 32-10.

If they can pull it off, the Thursday Island team will be popular winners of the Plate.

Carlos said before the semi-finals that the team would go into the final stages as favourite.

The carnival is also providing an opportunity for coaches to spot talent.

As an assistant to Wayne Barnett at the Comets this year, Carlos said the Comets staff had been taking a very close look at a number of players with a few to making an approach.

“The Comets are very proactive in getting involved with indigenous footy,” Carlos said.

The 2010 Indigenous Reconciliation Carnival concludes today with the Plate Final held at 12.20 pm and the Grand Final at 2.40pm, both games at Browne Park.

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