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.
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).
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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.
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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.
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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.