Downs Rugby fielded an unprecedented eight representative sides to compete at the South Queensland Championships held Sunshine Coast Stadium last weekend.
Downs Rugby general manager Matt Hammond was delighted with the success over the weekend. "All sides competed solidly for the full minutes with excellent team cohesion and behaviour, thanks to excellent coaching and management which we hope will see many Downs players earning Southern Queensland Country Selection," Mr Hammond said.
As Australia draws closer to hosting the 2029 Women's Rugby World Cup, Queensland Country has added a new representative pathway with teenage girls under 15 XVs. The Downs girls' team is showing huge potential, with a first up victory against the Gold Coast Cyclones last Saturday.
Notably our Under 16 boys registered three from three victories over the weekend. Our senior women's XV representative side, in only their second year of XV rugby, registered two from two wins beating both the Gold Coast Cyclones and the Sunshine Coast Stingrays. This success and growth can be attributed to the Downs' hugely popular Emilee Cherry 7s competition.
Our senior men's representative team played their hearts out, led by captain John Vinson, to win against the Gold Coast Cyclones and only narrowly losing to the Sunshine Coast Stingrays last Sunday.
Our Under 12 boys gained invaluable representative experience and will compete at the Simon Akubar in Brisbane on July 2-3.
Mr Hammond said Downs Rugby was extremely proud of everyone's efforts.
"This trip to the Sunshine Coast was hugely successful on every level and it wouldn't be possible without our major senior representative sponsors RDO Equipment, Barenbrug & NRG Services and our major teenage sponsors STAG Machinery / Case IH and Black Isuzu Ute. And they looked great at the same time in the fantastic apparel supplied by Gilbert."
With selection for the Southern Queensland Country team to be announced soon, much preparation is underway, as Downs Rugby is delighted to host the 2022 Queensland Country State Championships, July 1-3. The opening ceremony will be held on Friday, July 1 at Toowoomba Grammar School, with the school also hosting all teenage matches. South Queensland, Central Queensland and North Queensland will all complete and a Brisbane team will also join the teenage comp to make a premium competition. Toowoomba Sports Ground will host U19, senior men's and senior women's XV matches on July 1-3.
Selection for the Queensland Country team will be announced after these three days. Those selected will then go into camp at the Toowoomba Grammar School and prepare to play in the City v Country match in U13, U14, U16 boys and U15 girls XVs set to be held at the Toowoomba Sports on Wednesday, July 6.
Even with the senior representative bye weekend, there were two Nutrien Ag B grade men's matches still played on the Downs, including the annual Dirranbandi clash between the Goondiwindi Emus and the St George Frillnecks. In a nail-biter, the Goondiwindi Emus won by three points, claiming a 22-19 victory over the St George Frillnecks. The Emus have now leapt into second position on the B grade men's ladder as we reach the halfway mark, with Dalby Wheatmen remaining in first position. In the other Nutrien Ag B grade match played last Saturday, Toowoomba Rangers recorded a thumping 71 - 12 victory over the Warwick Water Rats at Risdon Oval in Warwick, maintaining their third position on the ladder.
The Downs Rugby senior grand final is one to put in the calendar, set to be held on Saturday August 27 at Toowoomba Sports Ground.
The Downs juniors competition had another big weekend with a hugely successful carnival hosted by Highfields Redbacks last Saturday. All teams playing together in the one location always creates much excitement for our younger players and the team at Highfields Redbacks once again organised a stellar event.
Ginger Clouds Modified Rugby Program also had a fantastic closing carnival at USQ last Saturday proving rugby really serious about being a game for all.
Check out our social media pages and www.downsrugby.com.au for further information.
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