ALMOST 400 rugby league players from 17 teams converged on Vico Oval on September 27-28 for the annual Tassell Trophy Challenge which saw 48 games played across the weekend.

A regular fixture on the junior rugby league calendar; many Under 14 teams come to enjoy the carnival and Cairns region for their end of season trip.

The carnival is also used as a development camp for young referees from throughout North Queensland, with the average age of the officials this year being 15 years old.

This year, teams from as far away as Sydney (Cromer Kingfishers), Cloncurry/Normanton, Beaudesert, Sunshine Coast and Central Queensland travelled to Cairns to compete.

At the end of the round games, two Cairns teams (Kangaroos Blue and Edmonton) and two Townsville teams (Western Lions and Centrals Tigers) progressed to the semi finals.

Semi final results (Centrals Tigers 12 def Kangaroos Blue 8) and (Western Lions 12 def Edmonton 10) saw the grand final played between two Townsville powerhouses, Centrals Tigers and Western Lions.

The grand final was a closely contested battle with Western Lions edging out the Central Tigers 24-22 to take out the 2014 title.

Award Winners 2014

Tassell Trophy Challenge Champions - Western Lions (Townsville)

Player of the Carnival – Stan Banu (Edmonton No 13)

Player of the Final – Kallum Delacour (Western Lions No 1)

Team Spirit Award – Cromer Kingfishers (Manly Warringah District Junior Rugby League)

Volunteer of the Carnival – Robert McDougall (Kangaroos Junior Rugby League)

Referee of the Carnival – James Martin (Mackay)