Legendary Day Of Family Fun
Former Kangaroo Cliff Lyons was a late addition to the NRL Legends squad … the popular Clive Churchill Medallist and Dally M winner showed he still had it on the paddock
February 15, 2019
Cherbourg’s big day of rugby league last Saturday was jam-packed with famous faces, football action and, most importantly, lots of family fun.
The historic clash between the Australian NRL Legends and the Cherbourg Hornets Legends topped off a day of sport which included the traditional Gyemore Shield game between the Hornets and Brisbane Natives, a women’s game, junior games and the clash between the Oakey Redbelly Blacks and the Hornets.
There were also motorbikes – a visit by the “Murris On Bikes” caused much excitement among the crowd – and even a traditional Maori haka shared by the Vaeagi family.
The day was hosted by Cherbourg Council and sponsored by them, the Murgon Business and Development Association, Sellwood Constructions, Total Building Solutions, Rebel and Sinalli.
Despite losing a boxing bout to Paul Gallen in Sydney the evening before, NRL’s infamous John Hopoate was still feeling cheeky enough to give the crowd “the finger” as he ran on to the field for the NRL Legends
Legends of League organiser Troy Byers looked happy as he surveyed the crowd
Mayor Arnold Murray welcomed the players and many visitors to Cherbourg
The “Murris On Bikes” Indigenous Riders Club, from Brisbane, turned more than a few heads when they roared down the hill towards Jack O’Chin Oval
The bikers were invited to carry the Australian NRL Legends on laps around the oval so fans could get to meet them
Aunty Shirley Law, Cherbourg councillor Alana Purcell, Francine Miller and Niketa Law
Calvin Carlo, 5, enjoyed a cuddle from Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington
Janelle Carlo, from Murgon, with MOB rider James Leedie, from Brisbane
The official team for the main game … linesman Andrew Dascombe, ref Kevin Watson and linesman Scott Kapernick had their hands full with the fun and games by the teams of legends
South Burnett Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff with Murgon Business & Development Association president Leo Geraghty
Long-serving South Burnett referee Kevin Watson was presented with a “thank you ” jacket by Hornets president Warren Collins
This is what happens when you loan your camera to a friendly teenager … rude selfies
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NRL Legends v Cherbourg Legends
The main game, of course, was the clash between the Australian NRL Legends – boasting some of the biggest names of rugby league from years gone by – and the local Cherbourg Hornets Legends.
There were lots of laughs, missed tackles and dropped balls plus a few ring-ins on the field (usually the ball boys aren’t called upon to kick goals!).
The crowd got into the spirit as the scoreboard ticked over.
There were lots of familiar faces – and quite a lot of the old skills on show – for league fans to appreciate … Kerry Boustead on the wing (where else?), Robbie O’Davis (who tackled and then “punched” the ref), Nathan Blacklock, Chris Walker, Terry Matterson, Craig Teevan, Cliff Lyons … the list goes on.
The Hornets side was also packed with talent … including Ricky Bird, Willie Tonga and Leo Dynevor.
At half-time the NRL Legends led 18-12.
There was more mayhem – and a lot more joking around – after the break.
A few minutes from the siren, the score was 32-all but there was no way the NRL stars were going to let that stand.
A last-minute try which was converted took the final score to Australian NRL Legends 38, Cherbourg Hornets Legends 34 (probably).
The local heroes … the Cherbourg Hornets Legends, captained by Lindsay Bligh, before the game
The Australian team of NRL Legends also included a couple of local heroes
What a bunch of legends … the NRL Legends and the Hornets Legends pose for the cameras before kick-off
The Australian team of NRL Legends and the Cherbourg Hornets Legends observe a minute’s silence before the game
One of the fair dinkum tries during the game … former Saints star Nathan Blacklock scores for the NRL Legends (but he declined to do his iconic backflip afterwards)
The NRL Legends discuss tactics at the half-time break …
There were a couple of ring-ins late in the game … this young fellow ran nearly the length of the field
Another young ring-in on the paddock … Jeffrey Dynevor runs defence on Knights legend Robbie O’Davis to let Jacob Sandow take off towards the line …
Young Sandow found himself blocked by ref Kevin Watson … but O’Davis made short work of this problem …
… while the adults were distracted, Sandow grabbed the ball and took off again …
… evading a tackle on his way to the line …
… he then shaped up for the conversion attempt, bare feet and all!
John Hopoate signs autographs for fans after the game
Two of the sponsors … Steve Lacey (Rebel) and Mark Smith (Mark Smith’s Menswear) managed to survive the game
Former Murgon Mustang – and Kangaroo – Bryan Niebling with Deb Frecklington … Niebling captained the NRL Legends team
John Hopoate makes friends with Cherbourg Hornets Legend (and wicketkeeper) Tom Langton
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The annual Gyemore Shield between the Cherbourg Hornets and Brisbane Natives is played in memory of three brothers: Arthur, Ronald and Graham.
It was a close tussle between the old rivals, with the Hornets narrowly ahead 24-16 at half-time.
The game was delayed for a short time while an ambulance was called to treat Keith Gadd Jnr, who suffered a leg injury in the third quarter.
When play resumed, the Hornets went back on the attack, stretching their lead to 28-22 at full-time.
Both teams and officials stood for a minute’s silence before kick-off
Barwoo Fisher charges towards the line to score for the Hornets
Anthony Gray scores for the Hornets to take the score to 16-all
The Hornets take off down the field with Brisbane Natives in hot pursuit
Cherbourg Hornets captain Dennis Sandow with Tyreece Gyemore … it was a special moment for Tyreece, playing in the winning side for the shield named after his grandfather
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Cherbourg Hornets v Oakey Redbelly Blacks
Cherbourg and Oakey (which included a few Nanango Stags ring-ins) played four 20-minute quarters as the temperature heated up in the middle of the day.
At quarter-time, the home team led 20-0, and this had blown out to 52-16 by full-time.
Daron Bligh scores for the Hornets to take the half-time score to 32-16
Nathan Gadd notches up another try for the Cherbourg Hornets
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Cherbourg Hornettes v Brisbane Natives
Brisbane Natives showed their class when they took on the Cherbourg Hornettes in their women’s rugby league game.
At half-time, the visitors led 12-0 and this had grown to 28-0 at half-time.
But the crowd were very appreciative of the efforts by all the players.
The Hornettes run on to the field
The Brisbane Natives huddle before the game
A Hornettes player takes on the Natives’ defence
Brisbane Natives captain Patrice Chambers was presented with the Aunty Lillian “Cookie” Harrison Shield by Elgar Harrison, from Hervey Bay … Aunty Lillian was a life member of the Cherbourg Rugby League club
The Hornettes and Brisbane Natives teams pose together for photos after the game