League centenary hits Albert Park
A CENTENARY of rugby league in Gympie stepped into the spotlight last night at the Gympie Civic Centre with a special celebratory dinner organised by Gympie Cooloola Rugby League.
Guests journeyed down memory lane of the game’s history in Gympie in addition to lapping up the highly anticipated Birth of Origin Show, featuring footy greats and original State of Origin skippers Rommy Raudonikis and ‘Big’ Artie Beetson.
A particular highlight of the night was the auction of a rare framed State of Origin Queensland jersey signed by every captain since the inception of the series pitting state against state.
Today, the celebrations continue at Albert Park with a bumper day of rugby league.
There are eight matches in total on the program busting at the seams with enough action to keep the most fanatical of footy fans glued to their seats.
The highlight of the day is unquestionably the televised match on ABC TV between Queensland Country and City.
The City boys were in Gympie Thursday at Jack Stokes Oval, going their final paces under the eye of coach Paul Green.
A battle of epic proportions will be played out on the Albert Park field as players of a high calibre clash in an all-or-nothing blockbuster.
Meanwhile, women’s footy will also be showcased as the
State of Origin tussle between New South Wales and Queensland writes another chapter.
The women don’t hold back on the field, playing the game with as much gusto as their male counterparts.
Bringing the big day of footy to a close will be the Gympie Devils Reserve and A Grade outfits, playing under lights against Caloundra.
A Grade runs onto the field at 6.40pm against Sunshine Coast competition leaders Caloundra.
The timing couldn’t be more perfect for the Devils who will play their most important clash of the season in front a record crowd expected to be in the thousands.
It is important the Devils forget the disappointment of last week’s 22-18 loss to Caboolture, despite leading 18-0 at half time.
Boosting the side’s spirits today is the return of several key players, including second-rower Darren Burns, prop Kurt Fleming and halfback Nick Swan.
“It gives us confidence having them back,” coach John Greensill said. “Having these boys back makes a big difference.”
Cost of admission to Albert Park for the games today is $6.