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Rockhampton in action at this year's XXXX 47th Battalion. Photo: Zain Mohammed/QRL

Queenslanders love to be the underdogs.

So, when I hear talk this week that Rockhampton are the underdogs in the XXXX League Championship semi-final clash with Townsville, then I say, bring it on.

People can make whatever judgements they want.

There have even been some suggestions that maybe the Rocky Rustlers have already played their grand final after winning their first XXXX 47th Battalion this year, despite Toowoomba and Sunshine Coast being the favourites.

I can see how people have that view, but what I know as a fact is there is plenty of skill and talent in Rockhampton’s League Championship side and the coach, Jason Green, is a very smart operator.

The boys did rally well to win their first XXXX 47th Battalion and this talk of them being underdogs won’t bother them at all.

In fact, I think Rocky would love to go in with the underdog title.

Truthfully, I think it’s hard for people to gauge how either team will go because no one here in Rockhampton sees the Townsville competition and vice versa.

The only thing we know is that our boys go well here.

Sure, Rocky’s not an overly big side but they’re a mobile side and have some great skill amongst a lot of the players.

They’re a quick and hardworking team that does move around the paddock quite well and what they lack in size, they gain in mobility.

Rockhampton in action at this year's XXXX 47th Battalion. Photo: Zain Mohammed/QRL
Rockhampton in action at this year's XXXX 47th Battalion. Photo: Zain Mohammed/QRL

I think the semi-final at Browne Park is going to be really exciting.

We’re hoping for some good support from all the clubs and the community in Rockhampton.

They’ve certainly been showing up to support the Central Queensland Capras club this year across all grades and I think this game will be just as high in quality.

We’re already starting to see the interest build.

The game is starting to be discussed on social media and lot of older people around town are reminiscing on when community representative football was something that everyone aspired to.

People would come out in droves to watch it and it’s great to see regional representative football back again.

The Rockhampton Rugby League has also chosen to call all their fixtures off this weekend to give all the clubs the opportunity to be there and to support the team.

It also helps to not disadvantage any A grade teams with players out for the representative fixture.

It’ll be very exciting.

The semi-final adds to that growing feeling in town around the success of the two Capras teams this year, which we will hopefully see flow through to the Rockhampton rep side.

The success this year has really raised the profile of rugby league in this area.

And this isn’t just about Rockhampton. It’s about the whole Central region.

Last year when Toowoomba made the inaugural XXXX League Championship semi-final – and went on to play in the final against Brisbane – we saw a great response from all our areas.

There was a lot of camaraderie between the leagues and Toowoomba last year and the whole region got behind them, both for their semi-final win and their grand final loss.

Once the XXXX 47th Battalion is done, that rivalry between all the Central leagues is packed away and we become the same region - it’s all about supporting the team that does represent our region.

Good luck to Rockhampton this weekend. We’re all behind you.

The XXXX League Championship semi-final will be livestreamed exclusively on Try a Round Pass for just $4.99.

Upcoming events in Central region

Date Event Place
Jun 18 XXXX League Championship semi-final: Rockhampton v Townsville Browne Park, Rockhampton
Jun 25 Rees Orman Cultural Exchange Coolum
Jun 26-Jul 1 Zone 5 under 12s carnival Miles
Jul 1-2 Under 17 girls carnival Toowoomba
Jul 1-3 Presidents Cup Toowoomba
Jul 2-3 Wongai Wuri Under 13 Girls Carnival Caboolture/Sunshine Coast
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