Rockhampton and District Junior Rugby League QRL correspondent Michael Fletcher has been spending some time in the USA recently – and even got to catch some matches over in America. He recounts his experience below:
Rockhampton Brothers Juniors and the CQ Capras were recently acknowledged for their support of the USA Southern Divisional Finals series held at Hodges Field, North Florida University in Jacksonville, Florida.
Former Sarina Crocodile Daryl Howland (a part owner of the Jacksonville Axemen and director of the Southern Divisional Rugby League) acknowledged the two Central Queensland organisations at last Saturday’s final after Brothers Juniors donated two shirts; one to the Divisional Committee and one to the raffle, to raise funds for the game in the region.
The CQ Capras donated posters, stickers, water bottles, bouncy balls and wrist bands to the children attending.
The game in the United States is growing with the new Southern Division expanding to four teams which includes the Axemen, the Atlanta Rhinos, the Central Florida Warriors and the Tampa Mayhem.
Following the success of the national side the Tomahawks in the recent Rugby League World Cup, a small but passionate group of supporters were on hand for the game, which was won by the Axemen over the Warriors 40 -12.
They will now take on the winner of the Northern Division which will be decided after this weekend’s final round, the National Final will be played in Jacksonville on Saturday, August 23.
Players are looking at the East Coast competition as a new experience with a number of Australian and PNG players assisting the local players expand the game in the United States.
After watching the game, Brothers Juniors will be in discussion with local players about options for a short stint in the USA Rugby League.
This experience shows what Australian players and officials are doing to expand the game around the world and this proves that you can travel the world and play the game that is loved here in Australia.