Mini Maroons is the weekly round-up of the amazing things kids are doing in community rugby league.
This week we are celebrating two new clubs in the Cooktown district, a gutsy team from Logan, and an undefeated girls' side going all the way in Rockhampton.
Cooktown celebrated a major milestone over the weekend, as the Hope Vale Cockatoos and Wujal Wujal Yindili played their first ever junior rugby league games.
Nearly 200 kids participated in the opening round alongside the Cooktown Crocs - who Hope Vale had previously played under in years past - with Queensland Rugby League's Cairns league and club coordinator Sheron McDougall saying the children were thrilled to be out and playing.
"The crowd gets right into it and they just love it," McDougall said.
"This was their first round and all the kids who hadn't played before were very excited.
"It was hectic but a great day."
With both QRL and NRL representatives in attendance, kids from under 7s up to under 13s took part, with an open mixed LeagueTag game also held for the older age groups.
The under 7s took part in the Tackle Ready program and there was also a coaches workshop held on the Friday night.
Following the junior games, the seniors' Three Rivers Competition kicked off for the first time since 2019.
The Hope Vale Cockatoos, Wujal Wujal Yindili and Pormpuraaw Crocs, who travelled 500 kilometres from the west coast of Cape York Peninsula, played their Round 1 matches.
QRL South East
Tough, courageous and full of heart.
Those are just some of the words that have been used to describe Logan Brothers’ under 16s division one team.
The group of young boys were praised for their efforts last weekend after they overcame a strong Redcliffe Dolphins side 22-12 despite having just 13 players for the majority of the match.
They went into the match with 14 in their team, before losing a player only 10 minutes into the game and co-coach Woodz Howe - who works alongside Joey Watene-Myer - said he was very proud of their effort.
“I just witnessed one of the toughest performances from a Logan Brothers side in my time at the club,” Howe - who is also the club's coaching coordinator - said after the game.
“Managing to come away with a 22-12 win with 13 players against a tough Redcliffe side … amazing display of courage and heart.
“Couldn’t be more proud of this group of young men. A lot of sore bodies but they learnt a lot about themselves today and how tough mentally they are and also what our club is about.”
The boys were praised for their defence in particular and their camaraderie as a team.
The Emu Park under 17s girls have proven to be invincible.
The Emus finished their 2022 season undefeated, after last week claiming the grand final victory over Rockhampton Tigers in a close and tough affair.
Matilda Lyons and Jasmine Miller opened the scoring for Emu Park, with Miller bagging a double, before Lille Merlow started to orchestrate a comeback from Rockhampton, alongside teammate Janae Jarrett-Lawton.
However, Emu Park drew on the strength they had shown all season, with Lilly Field extending their lead and handing them a 26-20 victory.
It was a thrilling finale to the season and Miller picked up player of the match for Emu Park.
Emu Park also took out the under 15s boys’ premiership while other Rockhampton JRL winners included Fitzroy Sharks (under 13s boys), Rockhampton Brothers (under 14s boys), Rockhampton Tigers (under 14s girls and under 16s boys), and Capricorn Coast Brothers (under 17s boys).