TRY: Gympie Hammers vice-president and Numbats player Paul Blackburn crosses the line to score under the goal posts.
TRY: Gympie Hammers vice-president and Numbats player Paul Blackburn crosses the line to score under the goal posts. Leeroy Todd

Gympie old boys big plan for annual tournament

RUGBY UNION: The Gympie Numbats will be aiming for a big ladies day at next year's Veterans Rugby Queensland Tournament after back to back success.

Matt Salter.
Matt Salter. Leeroy Todd

Five sides from across the region were in action at Leprechaun Park today, with players numbers matching last year.

Gympie have held the tournament two years running and the annual event is gaining support.

Dave Levy.
Dave Levy. Leeroy Todd

"We secured this annual event last year and our big plan for next year is we will be high class ladies day the same day,” Hammers coach and Numbats player Jason McPherson said.

"We are going to push what the club is bringing to the town and make it a day that people aren't going to forget.”

Jason McPherson.
Jason McPherson. Leeroy Todd

The tournament matched last years 65 player mark and McPherson said it was a great way for the older players to still enjoy the game.

"I just love rugby but when I get out here and I see blokes that are 30-years-older than me still playing I just have to try and work out how I'm going to break that to my wife,” he said.

Jason McPherson.
Jason McPherson. Leeroy Todd

"I hope she can let me keep playing veterans here or overseas.”

With the ARU Veterans rules slight changed to allow for all maturity levels, McPherson said it was small price to pay to still play the game.

Dave Levy.
Dave Levy. Leeroy Todd

"It is hard for me to back-off out here. I encourage my guys to tackle hard when I am coaching and then I am going out here trying to tackle soft, it is frustrating but it is in the spirit of the game,” he said.

"It's about keeping people playing rugby for as long as they can.

Brett Rautenbach.
Brett Rautenbach. Leeroy Todd

"I wish the rules were like they used to be, where if you were alone in the ruck you could use your boots and it sorted out who was running the show. But it has still been good.”

With 'fun fraternity and friendship' the motto of the event, there was comradery amongst all the players.

Reg Leis.
Reg Leis. Leeroy Todd

"Whether you have played with them once or against them once it is like you have known each other for 50 years,” McPherson said.

Blair Fuller.
Blair Fuller. Leeroy Todd

"It makes it more of a social event and referee is calling you by your name and telling you what is going on.”

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