Emu Park, which won the Warba Wangarunya Carnival earlier this year, will start favourites for this weekend’s Fitzroy/Gracemere Sharks carnival. Photo: Jann Houley
Emu Park, which won the Warba Wangarunya Carnival earlier this year, will start favourites for this weekend’s Fitzroy/Gracemere Sharks carnival. Photo: Jann Houley

Ten CQ teams to contest footy carnival in Rocky

RUGBY LEAGUE: Ten teams will take to Saleyards Park for the inaugural Fitzroy/Gracemere Sharks rugby league carnival on Saturday.

They will travel from across Central Queensland, hungry for action after the majority of competitions were cancelled this year due to COVID-19.

The Rockhampton Rugby League 2020 season was called off in June, making it the first time in more than 70 years that it has not been played.

It was shortly after that the Sharks executive started planning for this carnival.

Secretary Bruce Brymer said it was exciting to have rugby league back on the park.

“The response has been fantastic, and the carnival is shaping up really well,” he said.

“There’s been a lot of hard work put in to get us here.

“We’ve had fantastic support from so many people and organisations, including the Rockhampton Rugby League and the Rockhampton Referees Association.

“We really wanted to fly the flag for rugby league before the year was out and provide a strong launching pad for 2021.”

Fitzroy/Gracemere will be looking for a strong showing at the club’s carnival at Saleyards Park on Saturday. Photo: File
Fitzroy/Gracemere will be looking for a strong showing at the club’s carnival at Saleyards Park on Saturday. Photo: File

Eight men’s teams will compete and will be divided into two pools, with games from 11am.

Those games will culminate with semi-finals at 3.30pm and 4.30pm, and the grand final at 7pm.

The two women’s teams – Fitzroy/Gracemere and Emu Park – will have a stand-alone final at 5.30pm.

Brymer said men’s competition would be a hard-fought one, with teams coming from Bluff, Woorabinda, Calliope, Gladstone, Emu Park and Rockhampton.

He said Emu Park would likely start as favourites, given they took out the Warba Wangarunya Carnival in January but all teams looked strong on paper.

Fitzroy/Gracemere would be out to impress on their home turf, and coach David Doyle had assembled a strong outfit for the carnival.

Brymer said awards would be presented to the best male and female player, as well as the best referee on the day.

“We will have two fields operating at Saleyards Park on the day,” he said.

“It’s sure to be a real carnival atmosphere and we’re inviting footy fans to come along and enjoy it.

“We want them to know that rugby league is still alive and well in this region.”

Gates open at 9.30am. Entry is $5 per adult, $2 for pensioners and students, with children under-12 free.

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