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Mackay makes epic journey for biggest Adrian Vowles Cup yet

The Mackay Brothers Under 14s are embarking on an epic 850 kilometre one-way journey today to participate in this weekend's Adrian Vowles Cup in Charleville.

The idea to travel the colossal distance and participate in one of the most popular events on the rugby league calendar was encouraged by a group of parents who were keen for their kids to play in the pre-season carnival, according to coach and club president Andrew Battaia.

"We’ve got a pretty good bunch of parents here. They love their footy and are keen to get the boys to wherever they need to go," Battaia said.

"It got put to us at our presentation day last year as a good thing to do before the season started so we had a think about it and sent it out to see who was keen.

"We got 19 boys interested, so we’re all raring to go."

Not only is Battaia hoping the weekend will give valuable game time to his players to see how they're fairing before the season commences, but he is also hoping it will be a good bonding trip for his close-knit team.

"The main reason of going is that we want to give ourselves a test and see where we’re at," Battaia said.

"We’ve got a really keen bunch of kids with a lot of good players in our side who live and breathe footy and we’re keen to play a few different sides.

"The boys are definitely chomping at the bit [to play].

"We have done a pre-season as a club with all our older age groups together and all of our boys have been there every session and are keen and ready to go... they can’t wait."

In its eighth year, the carnival will play host to a record-breaking 40 teams, an achievement organiser Adrian Vowles never expected to happen when he and best mate Shaun 'Zoro' Radnedge first came up with the concept.

Carnival organiser Adrian Vowles. Photo: Mitch Wilson/QRL
Carnival organiser Adrian Vowles. Photo: Mitch Wilson/QRL

"We are very proud of how far we have come since 2014 when we had just three teams," the NRL and Super League journeyman said.

"For Zoro and I, it was just about keeping footy in the bush alive to allow the kids to play the greatest game of all.

"All we ever set out to do was grow it each year be it one team or four. What we didn’t account for was how popular it would become.

"Between myself, Zoro, Pete Rafter and Darren Curtis, and our helpers here, we have tried to make it fun and we have always been hands on with it from the start and running it our way.

"We are all mates with the people who attend the carnival now which makes it even more special."

With teams coming from everywhere across Queensland to be involved, Vowles believes teams make the adventure to the Outback to be part of the carnival's unique atmosphere.

"I think [people make the journey] because of the fun atmosphere and also the kids can make the dream team at the end of carnival and get specially made jerseys," Vowles said.

"We have winners but the carnival is played in such a great spirit.

"No one bags the referees, we don’t have touch judges and players fill in for other teams when they are short.

"We are one big family."

The 2021 Adrian Vowles Cup kicks off tomorrow in Charleville.

Roma Cities in action at the 2019 Adrian Vowles Cup. Photo: Mitch Wilson/QRL
Roma Cities in action at the 2019 Adrian Vowles Cup. Photo: Mitch Wilson/QRL

2021 Adrian Vowles Cup draw

Friday, February 26 - Baker Street Oval

Time Grade Game
12pm Under 16 Boys Wallumbilla / Surat Red Bulls v Redcliffe Dolphins
12.20pm Under 16 Boys Mitchell Magpies v Ipswich Grammar
12.40pm Under 16 Boys Roma Cities v South Burnett Eagles
1pm Under 16 Boys Emerald Tigers v Toowoomba Brothers
1.20pm Under 16 Boys Norths Devils v Souths Tigers
1.40pm Under 16 Boys Central West v Valleys Yellow
2pm Under 16 Boys St George Saints v Valleys Black
2.20pm Under 16 Boys Lowood Stags v Dalby Diehards
2.40pm Under 16 Boys Wallumbilla / Surat Red Bulls v Souths Toowoomba
3pm Under 17 Girls Valleys / Gatton v Southern Outback
3.30pm Under 17 Girls Brothers v Roma Cities
4.10pm Under 16 Boys Mitchell Magpies v Toowoomba Brothers
4.30pm Under 16 Boys Roma Cities v Souths Tigers
4.50pm Under 16 Boys Ipswich Grammar v Redcliffe Dolphin
5.10pm Under 16 Boys Central West v Dalby Diehards
5.30pm Under 16 Boys Emerald Tigers v Valleys Black
5.50pm Under 16 Boys Norths Devils v South Burnett Eagles
6.10pm Under 16 Boys Valleys Yellow v Lowood Stags
6.30pm Under 16 Boys St George Saints v Souths Toowoomba

Friday, February 26 - Charleville Showgrounds

Time Grade Game
12pm Under 14 Boys Western Ringers v Mackay Brothers
12.20pm Under 14 Boys Mitchell Magpies v Beaudesert Kingfishers
12.40pm Under 14 Boys Lowood Stags v Highfields Eagles
1pm Under 14 Boys Dalby Diehards v Norths Devils
1.20pm Under 14 Boys South Burnett Eagles v Roma Saints
1.40pm Under 14 Boys Benderoo / Wandoan v Easts Tigers
2pm Under 14 Boys Toowoomba Valleys v Redlands Parrots
2.20pm Under 14 Boys Redcliffe Dolphins v Toowoomba Brothers
2.40pm Under 14 Boys Souths Toowoomba v Carnarvon Cubs
3pm Under 14 Boys Mackay Brothers v Central West
3.20pm Under 14 Boys Western Ringers v Beaudesert Kingfishers
3.40pm Under 14 Boys Mitchell Magpies v Norths Devils
4pm Under 14 Boys Lowood Stags v Roma Saints
4.20pm Under 14 Boys Dalby Diehards v Easts Tigers
4.40pm Under 14 Boys South Burnett Eagles v Redlands Parrots
5pm Under 14 Boys Benderoo / Wandoan v Toowoomba Brothers
5.20pm Under 14 Boys Toowoomba Valleys v Carnarvon Cubs
6pm Under 14 Boys Redcliffe Dolphins v Souths Toowoomba
6.20pm Under 14 Boys Central West v Highfields Eagles

Saturday, February 27 - Baker Street Oval

Time Grade Game
8am Under 14 Boys Central West v Dalby Diehards
8.20am Under 14 Boys Highfields Eagles v Benderoo / Wandoan
8.40am Under 14 Boys Easts Tigers v Souths Toowoomba
9am Under 14 Boys Roma Saints v Redcliffe Dolphins
9.20am Under 14 Boys Norths Devils v Toowoomba Valleys
9.40am Under 14 Boys Redlands Parrots v Carnarvon Cubs
10am Under 14 Boys Beaudesert Kingfishers v South Burnett Eagles
10.20am Under 14 Boys Toowoomba Brothers v Mackay Brothers
10.40am Under 14 Boys Western Ringers v Lowood Stags
11am Under 14 Boys Easts Tigers v Mackay Brothers
11.20am Under 14 Boys Roma Saints v Redlands Parrots
11.40am Under 14 Boys Norths Devils v Toowoomba Brothers
12pm Under 14 Boys Highfields Eagles v Carnarvon Cubs
12.20pm Under 14 Boys Beaudesert Kingfishers v Souths Toowoomba
12.40pm Under 14 Boys Central West v Redcliffe Dolphins
1pm Under 14 Boys Western Ringers v Toowoomba Valleys
1.20pm Under 14 Boys Mitchell Magpies v South Burnett Eagles
1.40pm Under 14 Boys Lowood Stags v Dalby Diehards
2pm Under 14 Boys Roma Saints v Carnarvon Cubs
2.20pm Under 14 Boys Mackay Brothers v Redlands Parrots
2.40pm Under 14 Boys Easts Tigers v Toowoomba Brothers
3pm Under 14 Boys Benderoo / Wandoan v Dalby Diehards
3.20pm Under 14 Boys Norths Devils v Souths Toowooomba
3.40pm Under 14 Boys Highfields Eagles v Redcliffe Dolphins
4pm Under 14 Boys Beaudesert Kingfishers v Toowoomba Valleys
4.20pm Under 14 Boys Mitchell Magpies v Lowood Stags

Saturday, February 27 - Charleville State High School

Time Grade Game
8.30am Under 16 Boys Emerald Tigers v Souths
8.50am Under 16 Boys South Burnett Eagles v Valleys Black
9.10am Under 16 Boys Lowood Stags v Souths Tigers
9.30am Under 16 Boys Wallumbilla / Surat Red Bulls v Valleys Yellow
9.50am Under 16 Boys Souths Toowoomba v Toowoomba Brothers
10.20am Under 16 Boys Valleys Black v Norths Devils
10.40am Under 16 Boys Valleys Yellow v Emerald Tigers
11am Under 16 Boys Mitchell Magpies v Souths Toowoomba
11.20am Under 16 Boys Souths Tigers v Ipswich Grammar
11.40am Under 16 Boys Toowoomba Brothers v Roma Cities

Saturday, February 27 - Charleville Showgrounds

Time Grade Game
8.40am Under 16 Boys Norths Devils v Mitchell Magpies
9am Under 16 Boys Dalby Diehards v Redcliffe Dolphins
9.20am Under 16 Boys St George Saints v Ipswich Grammar
9.40am Under 16 Boys Central West v Roma Cities
10am Under 17 Girls Roma Cities v Southern Outback
10.30am Under 17 Girls Brothers v Valleys / Gatton
11.10am Under 16 Boys Dalby Diehards v St George Saints
11.30am Under 16 Boys Wallumbilla / Surat Red Bulls v Central West
11.50am Under 16 Boys Lowood Stags v Redcliffe Dolphins
12.10pm Under 17 Girls Valleys / Gatton v Roma Cities
12.40pm Under 17 Girls Brothers v Southern Outback
1.20pm Under 16 Boys Valleys Yellow v Mitchell Magpies
1.40pm Under 16 Boys Valleys Black v Redcliffe Dolphins
2pm Under 16 Boys Souths Tigers v South Burnett Eagles
2.20pm Under 16 Boys Toowoomba Brothers v Wallumbilla / Surat Red Bulls
2.40pm Under 16 Boys Roma Cities v Dalby Diehards
3pm Under 16 Boys Ipswich Grammar v Lowood Stags
3.20pm Under 16 Boys South Burnett Eagles v Emerald Tigers
3.40pm Under 16 Boys Norths Devils v St George Saints
4pm Under 16 Boys Central West v Souths Toowoomba
4.20pm Under 14 Boys South Burnett v Western Ringers
4.40pm Under 14 Boys Central West v Benderoo / Wandoan
5pm Under 17 Girls Grand Final
5.40pm Under 14 Boys Grand Final
6.10pm Under 16 Boys Grand Final