Every form of rugby union was in action last weekend on the Downs!
Friday night footy is heating up as we now head into the last regular season Round 10 this Friday, and move towards eligible players competing in the teenage semi-finals at Highfields Sports Ground on Friday June 7. The teenage grand final, for the first time, will merge the youth girls' sevens grand finals in revised format on Sunday June 16 at Toowoomba Sports Ground (Athletic Oval).
Last Saturday morning at USQ saw the best inclusive initiative employed in RugbyAU for some time. The Modified Rugby Program was hosted USQ Saints and Toowoomba Bears, which welcomed Brisbane clubs: Brothers Rugby and Easts Rugby. The MRP is a new, modified form of touch-only rugby, developed by GingerCloud Foundation, where each boy and girl with a learning and perceptual disability has their own club player mentor on the field supporting them.
On Saturday Emilee Cheery Cup round 3, and Wagners Risdon Cup round 9 fixtures were played at Gold Park and USQ Rugby Oval for their respective Ladies Days. Emilee Cheery Open Women's Sevens after three rounds sees the Bears ahead by six points on the ladder, followed by Condamine Coddettes, Dalby Wheatchix, new comers St George Filly Frillies, and Warwick round out the top five. The Rangers (Gold Park) and USQ Ladies Day were both sellouts, and we appreciate the key role that women play in this great game.
Wagners Risdon Cup, round 9, marked the halfway mark for the season, and at Gold Park, Dalby Wheatmen and the Toowoomba Rangers battled in a highly entertaining match in the balance until the 70th minute, until Rangers 33 defeated Wheatmen 13.
At Fox Gallas Park, Roma hosted the improving Gatton Blackpigs. In a close encounter Roma escaped with a 16-10 victory, placing them second behind reigning Risdon Cup Premiers the Goondiwindi Emus. The Toowoomba Bears have secured their second win of the Wagners 2019 Risdon Cup season, with four penalty goals enabling a victory 12-8 over USQ Saints.
The Wagners Rison Cup ladder leaders after nine rounds (with competition points noted): 1st Goondiwindi Emus (38), 2nd Roma Echidnas (32), 3rd Toowoomba Rangers (25), 4th Condamine Cods and 5th Gatton Blackpigs (19).
Awards night is Saturday July 27, Super Saturday Finals begin August 3 and Wagners Risdon Cup final is Saturday August 24 at Toowoomba Sports Ground. Will your team win?
Note this Saturday, June 1, is Rugby Country Day at Riddles Oval Goondiwindi. St Josephs Nudgee College will host a free high-performance clinic for under 6 to under 12 with key coaching personnel and members of Nudgee's 1st XV. This will be followed by Risdon Cup A-B-C grade fixtures. Full details on www.DownsRugby.com.au
Rugby on the Downs has never been more exciting, as we look forward to hosting 667 players from five touring sub-unions and of course Downs Rugby, for the State Championships at Downlands College, Toowoomba from July 5-7 and in 2020.