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Tariq Tanner (second from left) with his father Dan Tanner (centre), uncles Josh (right) and Corey (left), and grandfather Nathan (second from right). Photo: Vince Habermann

Mini Maroons is the weekly round-up of the amazing things kids are doing in community rugby league.

This week we are celebrating a historic match for a father and son duo in Bundaberg, an Ipswich family who play and work together, and the next generation of Mackay talent.

QRL Central

It was a historic day for the Tanner family on Saturday, June 18.

Dan Tanner - a long-serving club champion, captain and front rower at Bundaberg's Wests Panthers - and his 17-year-old son Tariq played together at the A grade level for the first time.

Tariq, a promising up-and-coming talent, and his father helped the Panthers purr to a 36-14 victory over the Maryborough Wallaroos at Salter Oval, with Tariq not only celebrating the historic match, but an incredible elevation to the top level for his local football.

It was a whole family affair. His uncles were also involved, with Corey Tanner the team's head coach while Josh Tanner produced his usual robust all-round performance at hooker.

Tariq's grandfather Nathan - a club champion over many years - was also there for the special occasion.

Tariq Tanner (second from left) with his father Dan Tanner (centre), uncles Josh (right) and Corey (left), and grandfather Nathan (second from right). Photo: Vince Habermann
Tariq Tanner (second from left) with his father Dan Tanner (centre), uncles Josh (right) and Corey (left), and grandfather Nathan (second from right). Photo: Vince Habermann

It was already a significant day for the young gun with his family ties and debut, but the script could not have been better written when the electrifying centre scored the Panthers' first try.

He continued to threaten every time he touched the ball and his dad was also at his vintage best, also grabbing his own four-pointer late in the match.

"How good was that for Tariq to score the first try then for me to also get one? It was a great day ... one that we will always remember,” 39-year-old Tanner said after the match.

Tariq, the eldest of three boys, is a Year 12 student at St Joseph’s Nudgee College and is part of the Brisbane Broncos Development Squad. He is expected to move up into their emerging squad in November.

The Tanners are also hoping to see more of Tariq in A grade footy this year, with the teen to get more game time under his belt while on school holidays.

“Tariq’s season in Brisbane with Norths Devils in the Mel Meninga Cup is finished but he’s home on school holidays and he will also play in the Old Boys Round (against Past Brothers) this weekend," Tanner said.

"He will then go into the GPS Rugby comp with Nudgee, but we will try and get him back for one more game so that he will be eligible for the semis."

QRL South East

Jonty and Ryker Mo’unga know that being part of a rugby league club is about a lot more than just playing.

The young duo, who play for Ipswich’s Norths Tigers JRL, come part as a full family package, with their mum, Kym Brandon, and their dad, Tee Mo’unga, volunteering in a number of roles around the club.

Tee Mo’unga and Kym Brandon with their sons, Jonty and Ryker.
Tee Mo’unga and Kym Brandon with their sons, Jonty and Ryker.

Tee, who is also in his final year as a player with the club’s A grade team, has taken on League Safe roles for both his sons’ teams and is now the assistant coach to Ryker’s under 7s side.

Kym meanwhile first started as a volunteer to help set up the fields, progressed to being a member of Norths’ committee, and is now the club president.

With that sort of influence, it’s not surprising Jonty and Ryker also pitch in as much as they can.

“It teaches them that you give back,” Kym said.

“They see me on a Saturday when we have home games and I work with a select group of people to put the event on. The boys are there early on, putting out cones, picking up rubbish … they find it exciting and they like doing it.

“They get to see their friends, see all the games, watch other kids and learn nuances of the game from other people. They’ll grab a footy and play on the sideline and copy what kids are doing on the field.

“Helping out, it’s becoming second nature to them. They’re happy to fetch and carry.”

Jonty and Ryker started with Norths in the club’s Cubs program for three to six-year-olds, teaching them the basics of the sport.

They then moved through the grades and have both developed a strong love for the game. Jonty is now with the under 8s Blue side and Ryker is under 7s.

For this family, rugby league has always been part of their lives.

“When the boys were born, we all went and watched games,” Kym said.

“The boys have grown up around rugby league fields on the weekends, watching and also playing on the sidelines.  The boys received their first footy when they were born.

“Norths is a great family-centric club with a bunch of dedicated committee members, volunteers, coaches, managers, first aid officers etc. 

“We couldn’t operate as a club without all these people to help out and make the playing experience for the kids the best it can be.”

QRL North

Kids from three Mackay clubs received the gold star treatment from the Cutters this week, after taking part in the Cutters Club Care session.

Players from Mackay's Norths Junior Devils, Wests Tigers, and Brothers Bulldogs JRL all took part in the experience, which not only allowed them some insight into where the club's Hostplus Cup team plays, but introduced them to North Queensland Cowboys stars Coen Hess and Mitch Dunn.


This week’s Cutters Club Care session involved Rugby League Mackay & District teams from Norths Junior Devils Mackay...

Posted by Mackay Cutters on Monday, June 20, 2022

The Care session involved a tour of BB Print Stadium, a skills session with the Cutters head of football, Kim Williams, the chance to hang out with Hostplus Cup players, and an all-important wellbeing session with the club's wellbeing and education manager, Jarrod Crane.

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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