Toowoomba Bears broke their 10-year Risdon Cup drought and Warwick Water Rats claimed their maiden B Grade Premiership. What a thrilling grand final day last Saturday, October 3, at the Toowoomba Sports Ground for the Downs Rugby Wagners Risdon Cup.
The Wagners Risdon Cup and five other Downs Rugby grand finals were played in front of 1969 spectators and a Double Take Live Stream of the six hours which has racked up 10,400+ views and is available for your viewing via the www.downsrugby.com.au homepage. Thank you to joint telecast sponsors Black Isuzu Ute and Nutrien Ag Solutions.
Beautiful 27 degree sunshine weather and a pristine green 'carpet-like' playing surface at the Toowoomba Sports Ground. Under 13 Youth Girls 7s grand final kicked off the day with Toowoomba Bears winning 29-19 over the USQ Saints. Under 15 Youth Girls 7s grand final saw the Toowoomba Bears clinically defeat the Chinchilla River Rats 24-0 and in Under 17 Youth Girls 7s grand final the Toowoomba Bears narrowly defeated the Chinchilla River Rats 17-12. A clean sweep for the Toowoomba Bears!
The 2020 Nutrien Ag B Grade Bill Flamsteed Cup grand final pitched the Minor Premier Warwick Water Rats against the reigning Premiers St George Frillnecks. Superior defence and attacking flair from Warwick delivered a gritty 15 -7 victory and their maiden B Grade Premiership. Congratulations Warwick Water Rats!
The Black Isuzu Women's 7s Emilee Cherry Cup was a fantastic pulsating grand final with lead changes and a tense finish. USQ Saints just held on for 21-19 victory and their maiden Emilee Cherry Cup. USQ's Georgia Sims earned the Player of the Grand Final, while St George's Meg Jakins was awarded the season's Top Try Scorer and Top Points Scorer Trophies. Both teams deserved the title, only one could claim the Emilee Cherry Cup.
An abridged Downs Rugby Awards was presented on field. The Ken Long Award for Service and Dedication was awarded to Rick Lingard who pioneered our very popular South West 7s, Representative Coaching and photography in among endless volunteer hours with Toowoomba Anglican School sport. The Club Champions Award was claimed by St George Frillnecks after excellent regular seasons for their B Grade and Women's 7s sides. In 2020, there has been weighting added to Women's 7s in the Club Champion calculations.
The Wagners Risdon Cup featured the unbeaten Toowoomba Rangers against the underdog Toowoomba Bears. The Toowoomba Bears had a dominant scrum and a sheer willingness to claim the Risdon Title after a ten-year drought.
"There was no pressure on us, we knew if we played good rugby we would be in the mix," Bears captain Declan Wheeler said.
Bears played excellent footy to withhold a late Toowoomba Rangers comeback in an edge-of-your-seat Wagners Risdon Cup grand final 26-21. Rangers' Brandon Murray claimed the Vince Bermingham Cup for the best player on field as judged by the refereeing panel. Well done Toowoomba Bears who are still celebrating. The story of the day was Toowoomba Bears player Lachlan Palmer claiming the Risdon Cup after his grandfather won the inaugural Risdon Cup in 1964 with the Warwick Water Rats.
The prestigious Mal Eiby Medal for the A Grade Best and Fairest for 2020 was awarded by its namesake. The first ever joint medal recipients, with Toowoomba Rangers Matt Bougoure and Fraser Hess awarded their medallions. 2020's Top Try Scorer and Points Scorer in the Wagners Risdon Cup was awarded to Martin Van Staden from the USQ Saints.
Thanks to the Darling Downs Rugby Referee Association and we acknowledge Referees, A Grade: Christiaan Van Der Nest, B Grade: Michael Bosman and Women's 7s Grand Final Referee: Tom Wallis. Thank you, DDRRA president Tim Biggs, and all in the association in 2020.
Thank you to all clubs and volunteers for a terrific 2020 Youth Girls 7s and Senior Season. We now head into a resumption Teenage Boys and South West 7s competitions in this Term 4.
Downs Rugby Limited's board led by Rob Johnston are to be commended as well as our loyal sponsors: Wagners, FKG Group, Black Isuzu Ute, Nutrien Ag Solutions and Artic Energy.