The Fitzroy Gracemere Sharks men's side.
The Fitzroy Gracemere Sharks men's side.

Carnival ‘makes history’ and revitalises CQ rugby

EMU Park dominated the Fitzroy Gracemere Sharks rugby league carnival on Saturday, its women’s and men’s teams winning the grand final without a single preceding loss.

Ten teams travelled from across Central Queensland to Rockhampton’s Saleyards Park yesterday, itching for friendly competition due to a cancelled 2020 season.

Emu Park’s women won 57-0 against the Fitzroy Sharks, and the men triumphed 73-10 over the Bluff Rabbits.

Emu Park Senior Rugby League Club president Jason Field called it “a great carnival” and said he was pleased to see rugby league up and running again in the region.

He said the games were played in good spirits and that it was a “good family day”.

“Lots of people have been waiting for rugby league to come back into the region since COVID,” he said.

“The opportunity and the interest for this event to happen sparked everyone to attend.”

Mr Field said that by the end of the event, which ran for roughly nine hours, his team had noticeably started to gel together, considering the lack of regular games lately.

Emu Park's victorious men's team.
Emu Park's victorious men's team.

Fitzroy sports trainer Lindsay Marquart said the carnival could become a fixture, after it ran so smoothly at the weekend.

“For the first carnival that they’ve run here, I think they’ve done a really good job,” he said.

“A lot of people are fairly rusty, obviously for having the year off, but there’s been some good football.

“They’re already discussing about doing the same again next year.”

Given the success of the event, Mr Field said Emu Park would be “more than happy” to attend another.

“As a club we’re happy to participate in things happening throughout the region,” he said.

The Fitzroy Gracemere Sharks club posted on Facebook that it had “made history” by helping to keep Rugby League alive in Central Queensland this year.

“When the record books show there was no premiership in 2020, there will be an asterisk saying [that] despite the season being cancelled, the Fitzroy Gracemere Club were determined to bring rugby league to the community and staged a one day carnival to fly the flag for rugby league,” it said.

“We put on a day of rugby league for everyone to enjoy … and it was a great success.”


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