Simpson earns United call
ROCKHAMPTON dummy-half Tommy Simpson capped off a superb 47th Battalion Trophy Carnival in Bundaberg on the weekend with selection in the Central United A-grade side to contest the State carnival on the Gold Coast on June 11-12.
Simpson and his Brothers teammates Sam Granville and Gavin Duffy join Fitzroy Gracemere front rower Liam Anlezark in the Central United side.
Despite battling a groin injury, Simpson captained Rockhampton to a place in the grand final on Sunday afternoon before a red-hot Bundaberg outfit proved too strong, winning the final 50-8.
After starting the carnival with 18 fresh men – two less than their opposing sides – the opening three matches of the carnival took their toll on the Rustlers troops with coach John Jenkins only having 14 fit players available for their semi-final match with Sunshine Coast.
Centre Travis Marshall was taken to hospital with a foot injury, while winger Zac Drochmann (knee), Luke Atkinson (finger), Chris Saunders (ankle) captain Tommy Simpson and five-eighth Gavin Hiscox, both struggling with groin injuries, battled through the side's remaining matches suiting up for the side's courageous 18-12 semi-final win over Sunshine Coast and their eventual grand final loss.
At the beginning of the carnival Rockhampton was determined to avenge its poor showing last year and started in the best possible fashion.
Rockhampton led 22-12 at half-time in its opening match against Border before a hat-trick of tries to centre Sam Granville helped the Rustlers run away convincing 40-12 winners.
The Rustlers faced reigning champion Bundaberg in their second match of the carnival and led 10-0 early in the first half.
Bundaberg scored a couple of tries to lock the scores at 10-10 at half-time, before the home side capitalised on Rockhampton's errors to score five unanswered tries in the second half to run out eventual 36-10 winners.
In its final round fixture on Sunday, Rockhampton proved too strong for Central Highlands winning 28-12 to book itself a place in the semi-finals.
Rockhampton 40 def Border 12
Bundaberg 36 def Rockhampton 10
Rockhampton 28 def Central Highlands 12
Semi Finals: Rockhampton 18 def Sunshine Coast 12
Grand Final: Bundaberg 58 (Shaun Collins 3, Matthew Templeman 2, Lyal Darby, Nathan Sullivan, Matthew Curtis, Ricky Boehme, Zac Suter tries; Tyrone Hopgood 6, Josh Tanner 3 goals) def Rockhampton 8 (Daniel Pickering, Gavin Hiscox tries)