Ongoing support pushes Rams to succeed
Emerald Rams: A much loved Emerald event, the Emerald Rams have been hosting the Annual Waitangi Day Match for 10 years, and it is considered the traditional opener for the CHRU season.
The game was well attended and well played by the New Zealand v Rest of the World teams; albeit a week late due to inclement weather, with the Kiwis ultimately taking the trophy.
After their huge working bee at the start of the year, which transformed the clubhouse, the Rams held their season launch event at The Irish Village, where they welcomed players, sponsors and supporters to the 2016 season.
Emerald Rams secretary Meredith Carter said the Rams were particularly grateful to the Thomasson and Tarlinton families for their efforts at the working bee and in the weeks leading up to round one.
The first game of the season was at home, which coincided with the Rams' annual Sponsors' Day. The day is a celebration to show the club's appreciation to the 2016 season sponsors.
"Each year we are grateful for the invaluable support of local businesses and individuals - many of whom maintain their sponsorship year after year. For the 2016 season we welcomed a number of new sponsors to the Rams family, and are always open to discussing sponsorship opportunities,” Meredith said.
In total this season, the Rams hosted nine home games, including the finals, at their field Morton Park and enjoyed fantastic support from the Rams faithful.
"We have seen a massive increase in our supporter numbers this year as we strive to provide an afternoon of fun rugby entertainment for the whole family. Our annual Family Day was sponsored by Lachlan Millar MP, and apart from finals was our biggest crowd of the year, with lots of fun provided for the little Lambs.”
Having three home games in a row towards the end of the season presented the Rams with an opportunity to run the CH Juniors on pre-game and at half-time.
Meredith said the Emerald Rams were pleased to support the initiative from the Juniors, as they were the future of rugby on the Highlands, and looked forward to working closer with them in the future.
The Annual Ladies Day is a must-attend on the Emerald social calendar, and this year was no different. The Rams were supported by the Maraboon Veterinary Surgery, who purchased a special Pink Kit that was auctioned off after their win over Capella.
The auction raised nearly $7000 for the Emerald Sub-Committee of the Breast and Prostate Cancer Association Queensland, making the total benefits of this event in five years to $27,000 - a truly amazing feat and a boost to the local healthcare services for the CH Community.
The Emerald Rams would like to thank everyone in the community who enables them to contribute to such an outstanding outcome.
The 15-round regular season saw the Rams come away with 12 wins from 13 starts (Blackwater withdrew partway through the season). They also finished the regular season as minor premiers well clear of their nearest rivals, the Clermont Bushpigs.
"We were thrilled to come away with the win two weeks ago in the major preliminary final, which earned us the right to host the 2016 CHRU grand final at home,” Meredith said.
"Week after week, our committee, team, friends and families assist us in our preparations for the season and game days, and we wholeheartedly appreciate their support - we would not be able to achieve such great results on and off the field without them.
"Special mention to the committee - Zak Costar, Cameron Heath, Andrew Bell, Zak Nichols, Meredith Carter, Alliza Marino and Sam Thomasson - who have together driven the club to achieve the best possible outcomes from our on and off field efforts this season.
"A passionate and professional group of individuals, each of our committee members have shown exemplary dedication to the club, and we are grateful for their tireless commitment. Thanks to the efforts of our Rams family we continue to build a club to be proud of, and we look forward to a huge crowd tomorrow to support us in our home grand final. Good luck to the Emerald Rams!”