FLYING: Whitsunday Raiders Cam Meurant leaps for the ball in a closely fought 17-12 win against the Bowen Mudcrabs. The Whitsunday Raiders came second in the Final.
FLYING: Whitsunday Raiders Cam Meurant leaps for the ball in a closely fought 17-12 win against the Bowen Mudcrabs. The Whitsunday Raiders came second in the Final. Jordan Gilliland

Rugby is back in town as competition turns heat up to 10

RUGBY was back with a bang in Bowen last weekend as 11 teams from across central and north Queensland descended on the town.

This first annual Bowen Rugby 10's competition was held on Saturday, September 28, and was met with great success.

It was the first opportunity for Bowen to experience a taste of rugby union this year, with the Bowen Mudcrabs unable to field a team in the Mackay district competition due to player constraints.

The winners on the day were the Case IH Old Boys, who travelled from the Burdekin region, finalising their win with a convincing 24-0 win over the Proserpine- Whitsunday Raiders.

Marshall of the event, Tom Andison, said that the event had 'ran smoothly' with room to expand for next year.

"Callum Robertson and his team from Queensland Rugby Union, who provided the refs and touch judges, reckoned with a couple of tweaks we could get to twenty teams," he said.

"The goal for next year is getting to that number, as well as introducing women's competition."

WINNER: The Burdekin Case IH Old Boys won the first inaugural Muddies 10 Competition.
WINNER: The Burdekin Case IH Old Boys won the first inaugural Muddies 10 Competition.

The Case IH Old Boys, who were awarded $3000 in prize money for their win, donated $1000 to melanoma research.

With teams travelling into the town from all over the region, Mr Andison said that it was great to give a boost to some local businesses.

"One of our major sponsors is the Queens Beach Hotel, and everyone got back there to the pub to celebrate and have a feed after the matches," he said.

"It's great to be able to bring some of that business to the local economy for an event we loved hosting."

As for the chances of fielding a rugby union team for next years competition? Well, the odds are looking very likely.

Mr Andison said the event had been a good shakedown to brush out the cobwebs and drum some interest into people thinking of playing rugby for the Mudcrabs.

"There were some people playing who had never played union before and they had a great time," he said.

"This year it was just tough to be able to get enough people to be able to play consistently in the Mackay District competition, but we'll be back bigger and stronger for next year.