The Central and South East Queensland Divisions went head-to-head with representative teams from Under 17s to Under 20s competing at Dolphin Stadium recently.
This event, the first of its kind and brainchild of respective QRL Division (Region) Chairs, Danny McGuire (Central) and Brad Tallon (SEQ) took place on July 28 and was some time in the making.
Brisbane Under 17s took on the Central Crows Under 18s, while the Crows Under 20s took on the SEQ Under 19s outfit.
The SEQ team was selected from the Alpha Sport Chairman's Challenge series which took place in May.
The day started with a see-sawing clash that saw Brisbane and the Central Crows swapping tries throughout the game.
Only having a brief preparation, the Brisbane team seemed to take a while to gain some cohesion as a team, and with a lowly 48% completion rate; Brisbane were lucky to go to halftime down by only a couple of points.
The second half was exciting to watch and with a matter of minutes to go, the scores were locked up.
A late try however handed the home side a gutsy 26-20 victory over the competitive Crows. Locklin Bauer was voted Player's Player for his stand out performance.
The Under 19 / 20s match was also closely contested; and although SEQ arguably looked the stronger outfit, the Central side were tireless in their effort. After an entertaining first half, the SEQ team led 16-10.
The SEQ Water Dragons were dominant in the early part of the second half, but were denied on at least three separate occasions by desperate Central defence.
Eventually, this continuous pressure resulted in points for SEQ and they built to a handy 26-10 lead.
However, the Crows kept coming, scoring one try then adding another to narrow the gap to just four points with five minutes remaining on the clock.
Central crossed again beside the posts for what appeared to be the match-winning try, only to be denied by an obstruction call from the match officials.
A penalty was blown and SEQ received great field position. They scored in the final minute to secure a thrilling 32-22 win.
After the great success of this weekend's round of matches and the positive feedback from all participants, it is hoped that funding will be made available to continue this program into the 2019 season.