After hosting the ANZAC Day NEAFL game between the Gold Coast SUNS and Brisbane Lions, the focus will be back on Harrup Park in Mackay over the long weekend for the North Queensland 14s Championships. Teams from Cape York, Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, and Capricornia will compete over two days, with players vying for selection for the North Queensland Kookaburras.
Last year’s undefeated champions Cairns will again bring a strong group to Mackay after introducing this year’s state school boys ruckman Shaun Watson and talented midfielder Jack Bowes in 2012. Capricornia, Mackay, and Townsville will all take squads to the Championships boasting plenty of talent now into their second year of SUNS Academy training.
The great unknown is always the Cape York Crusaders, who will bring their usual mix of speed, flair, and unpredictability to the carnival. The Crusaders also have their best 12 year olds competing at the State School Boys carnival at Maroochydore on the same weekend.
The format of the North Queensland Championships is a round robin fixture with all teams playing each other once in games of 4 x 10 minute duration. The action starts at 9:30 on Saturday with Capricornia taking on Townsville at Harrup Park, following the opening ceremony at 9am.