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Gutsy Rocky forward overcomes gruesome injury for 47th Battalion trophy

When the doctors told Rockhampton forward Riley Reid that his 2022 XXXX 47th Battalion campaign was over, there was only one thought that went through his head.

"I'm going to play."

The passionate Reid was representing Rockhampton at the prestigious carnival for the second time and knew the team had what it took to take out this year’s title.

However, with just two minutes left on the clock in the Rustlers’ opening match of the 47th Battalion carnival - a 20-12 triumph over Wide Bay - Reid suffered a gruesome injury to his finger. 

“My finger got caught in one of the other players’ jerseys in a tackle,” Reid said.

“He turned to run the other way and my finger just popped. 

“I looked down at my finger and went ‘nooo’… the bone was popping out of the skin.”

Reid was taken to hospital via ambulance, with medicos giving him an early prediction of a compound fracture. 

However, as his side lined up in their semi-final clash against 47th Battalion favourites, Sunshine Coast, an x-ray revealed that wasn’t the case.

The x-ray of Riley Reid's hand.
The x-ray of Riley Reid's hand.

“My finger was really badly dislocated,” he said. 

“The bone had come out of the socket and that’s why it was poking out of the skin. There was no fracture at all. 

“They gave me three nerve-numbing needles, some happy gas and popped it back in. I got two stitches.

“The doctors were saying my carnival was over but I knew, if the boys beat Sunshine Coast, I was going to play in that final.”

Reid, who is also contracted to the Central Queensland Capras, made it back to Gladstone’s Briffney Creek Fields to see the second half of Rockhampton’s semi-final. 

The game drew at 8-8 but Reid knew the rules - it was one try apiece and the Rustlers had scored first. They were through to the final. 

“I had itchy feet… I was very keen to play,” Reid said. 

“I had to get a clearance to play though.

“Once I was out there, it was pretty painful at times during the game but when you’re in the moment and have the adrenaline, you don’t really feel it too much.

“I basically had three fingers on one hand because three were taped together.

“I scored a try and even put the ball down with my bad hand too.

“It was way worth it in the end. Bloody oath it was.”

Rockhampton managed to beat a strong Bundaberg outfit, claiming a 24-16 victory. 

The winning Rocky team Photo: Amanda Pearce/QRL
The winning Rocky team Photo: Amanda Pearce/QRL

It was their first 47th Battalion trophy and now they will advance to the XXXX League Championship semi-final against Townsville, which will be played at Rockhampton’s Browne Park on June 18.

Reid is already back at training with the Capras and plans to play this weekend for Brothers in the local competition. But he’s still riding the high from that final - injury and all. 

“We’ve been trying for so long to win that,” he said. 

“When we finally did it, it didn’t really feel real.

“I’ve been apart of this team for two years but it’s the first time Rocky have ever won it in 11 years. 

“It’s huge. Rocky’s a really big rugby league town and they pride themselves on rugby league so it was good to get the job done.”

Main image: Riley Reid in action against Wide Bay at the XXXX 47th Battalion. Photo: Zain Mohammed/QRL

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