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Central Burnett Rugby League will farewell season 2022 by celebrating 100 years of football in the region, in a massive testament to the never-say-die attitude of their small towns.

The Gayndah Gladiators and Monto Roos will face off in this year’s Central Burnett grand final on Saturday, August 13, in what is a historic milestone for the league.

Central Burnett are celebrating 100 years of rugby league this season, with the majority of their festivities to take place at their end-of-season presentation.

But this weekend’s grand final will also mark the momentous anniversary, with Central Burnett president Cameron McDonald saying they may be small, but they are a mighty competition.

Mundubbera Tigers in the Central Burnett Rugby League in the 1940s. Photo: Supplied
Mundubbera Tigers in the Central Burnett Rugby League in the 1940s. Photo: Supplied

“It means a lot... considering we’re down to three teams these days, it’s a massive achievement to keep the competition going at the 100-year mark,” McDonald said.

“It might only be a three-team competition but the rugby league is well and truly alive and the passion is there.

“It brings everyone together.”

The Mundubbera Tigers in 2022.
The Mundubbera Tigers in 2022.

Central Burnett has endured a number of highs and lows over their 100 years, mainly around the size and strength of its competition.

Being a rural league, there has certainly been times when participation rates were down, particularly as workers came and went from the region.

But the league has continued to persevere and life member Gavin Ford said this was because of the people who cared about the game.

Ford, 62, has lived in Mundubbera his entire life, playing the game as a kid, and he also broke his neck playing rugby league in 1986 as the captain and coach of the Mundubbera Tigers.

His devotion to the game has never swayed, with Ford – who is a quadriplegic – has played, refereed and coached in the area, as well as serving on committees and earning his life membership.

He said he remembered the 1990s being the “strongest” time for Central Burnett Rugby League, but the game still had a major impact today - both for the people of the region and thanks to the people.

“It’s really important that rugby league is still going in such small towns like Mundubbera, Monto and Gayndah,” he said.

“It’s stopped and started and reformed again.

The Gayndah Gladiators in 2022.
The Gayndah Gladiators in 2022.

“But if you haven’t got the committee, you haven’t got anything. It’s good that the guys and women that we have put up their hand to keep it running. Without those people it wouldn’t be surviving.

“For rural areas, small towns like ourselves, these days it's rugby league and racing that are some of the only intertown social events where we get to meet up with other towns.

“We used to have dances and cabarets and balls and things to go but now it’s just rugby league.

“It’s a big social thing. It’s important to keep going.”

The grand final between the Gladiators and Roos will be held on Saturday, August 13, at Peter Dunn Oval in Gayndah, with a 4pm kick-off.

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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