There’s a feeling of excitement in the air this week as the Rockhampton and District Junior Rugby League prepares to signal time on for this year’s International season.
This year’s season will be played over 12 rounds, with grand final day set down for June 22.
The competition will consist of clubs from Rockhampton; with Brothers, Norths, Gracemere and Rockhampton Tigers set to do battle once again.
The Capricorn Coast will also be well-represented with Brothers, Emu Park and Yeppoon to compete and in some great news for the region, Woorabinda will again have sides in the Under 14 and Under 16 grades.
Cap Coast Brothers’ Under 14 side will commence their title defence against Emu Park in Friday’s opening round.
They went through last year undefeated and closed the season off with a dominant win in the Under 13 decider, making themselves the team to beat as they progress to the Under 14 competition.
The combination of Capricorn Coast Brothers and the Tigers will also be seen in the Under 18 age group.
This side came together last year when both sides were short on numbers and finished the season strongly in the Under 16 age group.
They will need to be on their toes first up against Emu Park, who are defending their Under 18 title and are typically very strong in this age group.
Old rivals Yeppoon and Norths start the season off with a full round at Barmaryee.
The Norths Under 15 side will take a lot out of last season when they made the Under 14 grand final against the premiership-winning Rockhampton Brothers outfit.
The Seagulls lost to Norths in a fiery Under 15 decider last season and will be looking avenge on their Knights rivals when they face off.
Brothers White host the Tigers in the first three grades on Friday night at Victoria Park.
The visitors claimed the Under 12 premiership last season, a history making occasion as it was the first trophy for the club, and they will look to go back-to-back, starting with Brothers in what is set to be an entertaining affair.
The last game on the program at Victoria Park is Norths White up against Brothers Blue.
The Brethren had a disappointing season last year, but the 17 new players joining their side, they should add some enthusiasm to the older players.
Woorabinda will host Brothers Blue at Browne Park, bringing their expansive style of footy back to the Rockhampton competition in their second year.
With a full season under their belts last year, they’ll be sure to cause some upsets during the season and push for a spot in the semis.
ROUND 1 FIXTURES
Friday, February 15
Hartley Park, Emu Park
|Under 13||Emu Park v Cap Coast Brothers|
|Under 14||Emu Park v Cap Coast Brothers|
|Under 15||Emu Park v Cap Coast Brothers|
|Under 16||Emu Park v Cap Coast Brothers|
|Under 18||Emu Park v Cap Coast Tigers|
Barmaryee Sports Complex, Yeppoon
|Under 13||Yeppoon v Norths|
|Under 14||Yeppoon v Norths|
|Under 15||Yeppoon v Norths|
|Under 16||Yeppoon v Norths|
|Under 18||Yeppoon v Norths Blue|
Victoria Park, Rockhampton
|Under 13||Brothers White v Tigers|
|Under 14||Brothers White v Tigers|
|Under 15||Brothers White v Tigers|
|Under 16||Gracemere v Tigers|
|Under 18||Norths White v Brothers Blue|
Browne Park, Rockhampton
|Under 13||Gracemere v Brothers Blue|
|Under 14||Woorabinda v Brothers Blue|
|Under 16||Woorabinda v Brothers Blue|
*Michael Fletcher is a QRL Correspondent covering the Rockhampton and District Junior Rugby League