Almost 400 rugby league players from 20 teams converged on Vico Oval late last month (September 26-27) for the annual Tassell Trophy Challenge; with 51 games played during the carnival.

The Tassell Trophy Challenge is a regular fixture on the junior rugby league calendar with many Under 14 teams enjoying 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 15 years.

This year, teams from as far away as the Gold Coast (Burleigh Bears), Northern Territory (NT Titans), Mt Isa, Cloncurry/Normanton, Sunshine Coast, Central Queensland and Townsville travelled to Cairns to participate in the carnival.

At the end of the pool round games, Burleigh Bears (Gold Coast), Kawana Dolphins (Sunshine Coast), Mackay Brothers (Mackay) and Central Scorpions (Cairns) progressed to the semi finals.

Semi-final results (Burleigh Bears 16 def Kawana Dolphins 0) and (Central Scorpions 26 def Mackay Brothers 10) with Burleigh Bears and Central Scorpions progressing to the Grand Final.

Burleigh Bears had stamped their dominance throughout the carnival with not having a point scored against them until the grand final, and taking out the title for 2015.

Burleigh Bears 40 (Will Evans (No 1) 3, Hunter Dare (No 4) 2, Ryan Garner (No 5) 1, Derrick Goodwin (No 10) 1, Tom Nichols (No 14) 1 tries; Ryan Garner (3), Brodey Harden (No16) 1 goals) def Central Scorpions 16 (Macfarlen McPaul (No 1) 2, George Hunting (No19) 1 tries; John Mosby (No 6) 1, George Hunting 1 goals)

Award Winners

Tassell Trophy Challenge Champions - Burleigh Bears (Gold Coast JRL)
Player of the Carnival – Kyle Gowley (NT Titans No 6)
Player of the Final – Will Evans (Burleigh Bears No 1)
Team Spirit Award – Tannum Boyne Seagulls (Gladstone District JRL)
Volunteer of the Carnival – Joanne Savage
Most Promising Referee - Guy Millar (Cairns)
Referee of the Carnival - Emilio Fichera (Townsville)