Girls knock out three-year champions at indigenous carnival
AN EMERALD girls rugby league team are the reigning champions after winning the grand final, knocking out the team who went three years undefeated.
The Nogoa Natives under 17 girls team won the grand final against Coastal Gummas with a convincing 16-10 full time score at the Mackay Indigenous All Blacks Carnival last weekend.
Club co-founder and secretary Kaytee Doyle said they knocked out the previous three-time carnival champions in the semis before heading into the grand final.
“It was a really good game,” she said. “At half time they were down 6-4 so they came back for the win.
“We had all the other three grades hang around and watch the game and cheer the girls on. We are all beyond proud.”
Mrs Doyle said it was some of the girls’ first time playing at the competition but still managed to go through all five games undefeated.
Nogoa Natives sent 110 players across four teams - men’s, women’s, under 17 boys and girls – to the competition for the second year in a row, which also saw the men’s team win their Plate Grand Final.
They also made a comeback after being down at half time against Darinygan, before finishing on top with a score of 24-22.
Mrs Doyle said it was a special game for the men, who took the field for a community elder who passed away the week before and was the grandfather to four of the players.
“They went out to play for him, so when they won, everyone was emotional and so proud,” she said.
Mrs Doyle said all teams played with their hearts, putting in 100 per cent to every game.
Nogoa Natives players are from across the Central Highlands and had supporters from Emerald, Blackwater and even Rockhampton head to Mackay for the competition, which Mrs Doyle said was amazing and made a really great weekend.
Mrs Doyle and her husband Andrew founded the Nogoa Natives last year and said they would continue to train and head back next year to defend their titles.