The 2015 Madsen-Rasmussen Trophy and President’s Cup Finals day certainly lived up to its reputation on Sunday as one of the Toowoomba Rugby League’s blue ribbon events. Those that made the journey to Clive Berghofer Stadium enjoyed an outstanding level of country rugby league.
Reigning TRL premiers the Allora/Clifton-based Wattles Warriors rose to the occasion to avenge their Madsen-Rasmussen Trophy loss of last year, dominating the Gatton Hawks to win 32-14 after leading 18-10 at halftime. The Hawks and Warriors have had a running battle over the last few seasons. Tremendous competitors, they shared the honours over the 2014 and 2015 seasons and regardless of Sunday’s results will be highlighted contenders at the business end of the season.
The mid-season trophy success was the fifth time a Warriors A Grade side have hoisted the prestigious Madsen-Rasmussen Trophy, having also tasted success in 1984, 1997, 1998 and 2005.
The Madsen-Rasmussen Trophy is named in honour of two of our great legends, internationals ‘Mick’ Madsen and Elton Rasmussen, who plied their league trade on the great stages of the world wearing national and state colours. They were also players who contributed in a significant way to rugby league in the Toowoomba and Darling Downs area as esteemed players.
The magnificent trophy was presented to Wattles captain Matt Duggan and playing President Aaron Scheid by family members of those honoured on the trophy, Elton Rasmussen Jnr and Ray Madsen. Wattles’ fullback Corey Blades brilliant performance was rewarded when named the Madsen-Rasmussen Trophy ‘Player of the Final’ receiving the prestigious ‘Bill and Steve Pollard Family Medal’, presented by Mrs. Thelma Pollard.
In a first for the TRL mid-season finals, the program featured a Ladies League Tag Round-Robin and final between active supporters of the ladies league tag movement, the Goondiwindi, Warwick and Pittsworth clubs. Ladies League tag is growing rapidly within the TRL jurisdiction and can only become bigger and better with so many more involved in the future. Warwick and Goondiwindi played out a nil-all draw prior to the A Grade mid-season final decider, with Goondiwindi halfback Nioka McGrady named ‘Player of the Match’.
A special thanks goes to all who contributed to the Ladies League Tag matches, having made significant arrangements and travelled the distances they did to make such a valuable contribution to one of the Toowoomba Rugby League’s very special days.
The three President’s Cup finals that led up to the Madsen-Rasmussen Trophy Final certainly had Clive Berghofer Stadium buzzing.
Toowoomba Toyota Reserve Grade
The Reserve Grade final seemed a game of two halves, but the mighty Gatton Hawks created local league history, earning their third consecutive Presidents Cup after finishing ahead of competition leaders the Warwick Cowboys 24-18.
Gatton led 24-0 at halftime, with Warwick’s impressive second half fightback falling short. Hawks’ front-rower Bruce Milson was named ‘Man of the Match’. The playing strength of the Gatton club has to be recognised. The pride of the Lockyer are leading the Hutchies Cup A Grade competition, second on the Toowoomba Toyota Reserve Grade ladder, a little under halfway on the Hutchinson Builders Under 18 ladder and second placed in the Berghofer Cup Second Division premiership.
Hutchinson Builders Under 18
Talented halfback Liam Jocumsen scored two tries as he inspired his Pittsworth Danes’team mates to a 50-12 victory over the Highfields Eagles to secure the President’s Cup. Pittsworth held a 24-12 lead over the Eagles, last year’s Cup winners, before posting an overwhelming second half performance on their way to victory.
Berghofer Cup Second Division
In what could be considered the upset of the Madsen-Rasmussen Trophy final day, the undefeated Millmerran Rams were beaten on the fulltime siren by the Valleys Roosters 36-34.
Valleys posted first points to lead 6-0 after just four minutes. The Rams drew level and then were never headed until the late stages, although Valleys were generally only a try distant and at times level.
After coming into the President’s Cup final leading the competition with seven wins from as many starts, it all went pear shaped for the Millmerran side three minutes from fulltime while leading 34-30. Valleys halfback and eventual Man of the Match Matt Schulze found a gap to score a try and convert for a closely-fought victory. For the Rams it was their first loss of the season, and the loss of the President’s Cup trophy won last year.
President Paul Dean and the TRL Board wish to thank Toowoomba Rugby League’s very generous and loyal sponsors of the 2015 and previous seasons. Madsen-Rasmussen Trophy and President’s Cup finals sponsor Slater Gordon Lawyers, along with fellow sterling contributors Hutchinson Builders, Toowoomba Toyota, Clive Berghofer Land Sales, Elastoplast, Garden City Cabs, Cracker Print and Paper and Mark Philipson’s Wilsonton Betta Electrical along with our media partner ‘The Chronicle’ for their significant and sterling support.
A mighty Toowoomba Rugby League vote of congratulations to the Queensland Under 18 side on their 22-18 win over New South Wales on Wednesday, with special mention for Toowoomba Clydesdales Tristan Hope who scored a try in the victory!