Friday evening saw teenage boys play under lights at various venues. The teenage ladder after six rounds sees the Toowoomba Bears leading the under 17 and under 13 competitions, and USQ Saints leading the under 14 and under 15s, culminating in semi-finals on Friday June 7 and the teenage grand final on Sunday June 16 at Toowoomba Sports Ground.
On Saturday were two fantastic rugby union participation initiatives. Firstly, Goondiwindi Junior Rugby Union hosted the invitational City v Country Carnival featuring some under 11 and predominately under 12 matches. Goondiwindi played Toowoomba Grammar School, The Southport School and Inverell Junior Rugby Union. Reds development officer Aaron Palmer conducted drills for the juniors during the day.
Secondly, game of one of two Kiwi-Hanna Cup (over 35s) was held at USQ Saints, pitching mates and old playing foes against each other in a friendly round-robin series. In a close battle, the Toowoomba Rangers were victorious in Round 1: Rangers (Kiwi) 14 d USQ (Hanna) 10, and we look forward to the second and final Kiwi-Hanna clash for the Cup at Gold Park (Kiwi Rangers territory) on Saturday June 8, alongside Round 11 Wagners Risdon Cup fixture.
The 2019 Wagners Risdon Cup is heating up, after Round 6 last Saturday. At John Ritter Oval, the Dalby Wheatmen hosted the Condamine Cods in a close encounter, prevailing 19-15, to gain some further confidence, after the loss of so many players heading into the season.
Reigning Wagners Risdon Cup Premiers Goondiwindi Emus hosted the 7th placed Gatton Blackpigs, in another dominating score line, wiping Gatton off the park 62-0. Notably, Goondiwindi Emus lead the Wagners Risdon Cup Ladder after six rounds and given that Goondiwindi Emus and second-placed Roma Echidnas have each played a game less than Toowoomba Rangers (3rd) and USQ Saints (4th).
After the Kiwi-Hanna Clash at USQ, the Saints hosted the Toowoomba Rangers in a spiteful affair. Much club spirit was on show, with a few yellow cards handed out. Rangers secured a vital victory to win 27-14 over USQ.
At Highfields Sports Park, the Highfields Redbacks welcomed a bottom-of-the-table encounter with Toowoomba Bears, who managed to amass their first five 2019 Wagners Risdon Cup competition points, with a convincing 62-5 bonus-point victory, being three or more meat pies clear of their opponent.
After a fortnight of rest and recuperation, this Saturday is Round 2 of 2019 Emilee Cherry Cup - Open Womens Sevens. Mini Carnivals at the home of the new club to the competition: St George Filly Frillies, Rowden Park, and the reigning two-time champion Toowoomba Bears at Heritage Oval. Patterns in the Open 7s Women Competition will really start to emerge as most teams in the fixtures play three games each.
Last Sunday, the Highfields Sports Park and Downs Rugby hosted Teenage State Championship trials during the long weekend. It was so encouraging to see players from all clubs, including Goondiwindi, Chinchilla and Dalby trialling for their spot in a Downs Rugby jumper for the locally-hosted teenage under 12s, 13s, 14s and 16s Boys State Championship this July 5-7 at Downlands College.
This Toowoomba-based 2019 and 2020 Championship at Downlands will make the successful local participants Downs Rugby registration fees more affordable, and also provide a boost to the local Toowoomba economy. If your company is interested in sponsoring this incredible event, please head to www.downsrugby.com.au and get in contact to subsidise costs for our Downs Rugby stars with a generous sponsorship. Under 15 Developmental Youth Girls Sevens Squad selections ahead of the September Championship were conducted as well. It was an incredibly well-attended day.
This Sunday is Round 3 of the Youth Girls Sevens at two locations: Bulldog Park, Chinchilla and USQ Saints.
Rugby on the Downs is heating up, as the Cold of winter approaches.