The Sunshine Coast Men’s and Women’s representative sides made a clean sweep of the Central Division 47th Battalion Trophy on the weekend.
Roma Cities RLFC hosted the annual event over two days of competition and with a total of 13 teams attending, it was the largest of recent times.
Female participation numbers in Central Division continue to grow and this saw a fifth team added in 2016.
The women from the Central Highlands were expected to deliver a high quality of football and they did not disappoint.
Following earlier pool matches, it was clear that the Central Highlands and Sunshine Coast women were the teams to beat in the competition.
They squared off twice over the weekend including in the grand final where the Sunshine Coast edged the Highlands 6-4.
It was an extremely physical contest and player of the final Mariah Storch (Central Highlands) tackled herself to a standstill.
Sunshine Coast captain Amy Bock commented in accepting the trophy that the match was as physical and as competitive as any that the highly credentialed Sunshine Coast team had experienced.
The Men’s competition remained wide open right up until the last of the pool matches on Sunday.
Heading in to the second day of action, six of the eight men’s teams were still a mathematical chance of finishing top of their respective pool and progressing to the grand final.
The surprise packet of the men’s draw was undoubtedly the host region, South West Country.
After some lean years, the country boys showed that bush footy is alive and well by progressing to the Sunday afternoon final.
Buoyed by local support, they stuck with the Sunshine Coast early before the overall class of the Falcons gave them the edge, eventually skipping out to claim the trophy 26-8.
The 47th Battalion Trophy carries great prestige within the Central Division, so claiming both the men’s and women’s titles is a real coup for Sunshine Coast Rugby League.
The carnival also provides a platform for individual players to claim spots in the Central Crows sides that compete in the State A- Grade Carnival in June.
Playing at this carnival opens up the opportunity to represent Queensland in both men’s (Rangers) and women’s (Queensland Women).
The Central Crows teams can be downloaded here: Central Crows Men's and Women's Teams 2016
Female Player of the Carnival: Courtney Lockwood
Female Player of the Grand Final: Mariah Storch
Male Player of the Carnival: Brendan Grulke
Male Player of the Final: Corey Forrest