What you need to know about this weekend's Nines
RUGBY LEAGUE: The Yeppoon Seagulls have vowed to turn on their free-flowing footy again as they go in search of a hat-trick of titles at the Schwarz Excavations Nines.
The defending champions will be among 22 teams from Central Queensland looking to play some razzle dazzle rugby league at Rockhampton's Browne Park this weekend.
Yeppoon utility Jonathan Tavinor, who was the 2016 Player of the Carnival, said the Nines format provided plenty of excitement for the players and the spectators.
"The boys love it. There's a lot more space out on the field and we just open up, throw the ball around and give it some air and see what happens,” he said.
"Our footy is based around having fun and getting together with the boys and that's the same approach we're taking this year.
"There's a lot of factors that come into play so that's why we just come to enjoy it.”
Brothers' Cohen Wassell is expecting some red-hot competition over the two days.
"It's going to be tough. Yeppoon are coming off the win last year but we've got the likes of Woorabinda coming in for the first time so it's going to be interesting.
"It's good to have the bonus try zone back this year so we'll be looking to score under the posts a lot more.”
Nines organiser Walson Carlos said it was exciting to have such a strong representation from the region in the four grades of competition.
He said the Mackay Magpies would pose a real threat in the men's first division, while reigning champions the Emu Park Emus - whose line-up includes Indigenous All Stars player Sarah Field - would start as firm favourites in the women's competition.
"We're hoping to get a good crowd here and that people really enjoy the weekend.
"The Nines is an exciting format; there's plenty of tries and it's fast footy.”
Games will be played from 9am to 9pm on Saturday, and from 8am to 5pm on Sunday, with the finals from 3.10pm.
Admission is $6 for adults, $2 for pensioners and children aged six to 17, while kids under eight are free.
Schwarz Excavations men's 1st division: Yeppoon Seagulls, Mackay Magpies, Rockhampton Brothers, Emu Park Emus, Biloela Panthers, Norths Chargers, Woorabinda Warriors, Blackwater Crushers
JFA men's 2nd division: Rockhampton Brothers, Norths Chargers, Fitzroy-Gracemere Sharks, Woorabinda Warriors, Bremer River Turtles
NG Engraving U20 men: Fitzroy-Gracemere Sharks, Emu Park Emus, Woorabinda Warriors, Biloela Panthers, Norths Chargers
Triple M CQ women: Rockhampton Brothers, Norths Chargers, Blackwater Crushers, Emu Park Emus
Games start at 9am on Saturday and will be played at 25-minute intervals, with the final match of the day at 8.30pm.
Games start at 8.30am on Sunday, with the elimination finals from 1.05pm and the grand finals from 3.10pm, starting with the U20s.
Each side is required to have nine players on the field throughout the game, with unlimited interchanges allowed.
All tries scored within the Rockhampton Leagues Club Bonus Zone are worth five points.
Click here for the weekend's draw: https://www.rrlnines.com/blank-xoldg