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Fun at the Jason Hetherington Cup

by Nick Moore

Mackay Magpies took out this year’s Jason Hetherington Cup with a 12-8 win over Capricorn Coast Brothers at Gladstone.

Close to 700 players from 35 club teams contested the ninth annual carnival for Under 12s from Friday (July 7) to Sunday at Gladstone and Districts Junior Rugby League Grounds.

>> Visit the Jason Hetherington Cup’s Facebook page.

Teams came from Gladstone, Rockhampton, Yeppoon, Mackay, Sarina, Proserpine, Toowoomba, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Central Highlands and Callide Valley, organiser and founder Brian Pengelly said.

A total of 138 pool matches were played prior to finals in what Pengelly believed was Australia's biggest Under 12s club carnival.

The top six teams from the four pools progressed to the finals, where 27 matches were contested.

Making the grand final were Capricorn Coast Brothers and Mackay Magpies.

Former Maroons and Canterbury hooker Jason Hetherington attended on Friday, mingling with all teams.


Spirit Award: Dawson Valley

The Best and Fairest of the Pools were: (based on votes on opposition throughout the carnival)
Pool 1: Gladstone Valleys – No.13 Haoni Harris
Pool 2: Caboolture Snakes Gold – No.13 Jayden Alefaio, and Mackay Magpies – No.6 Harry Thorpe (tied on votes)
Pool 4: West Bundaberg – No.9 Lochlan Hillan

Player of the carnival: Toowoomba Brothers – No.9 Harry Clancy (most votes overall)

Players of the grand final: (voted on NRL Development officers)
Capricorn Coast Brothers – No.13 Jett Manion
Mackay Magpies – No.13 Henry Thorpe

The West Mackay Tigers show their support for the #HANDSUP campaign, an initiative of their sponsor, G&S Engineering, to end the stigma around mental health issues. The Tigers won five from five on Friday before bowing out in Saturday’s semi-finals.