At the trophy night … Jason Lee, Biss Waqatabu, Epa Turaganivalu, Eliajah Kocovanua, Adam Rarere and Jamie Shirlaw

November 15, 2023

South Burnett Thrashers wound up their successful 2023 rugby union season with a low-key trophy presentation and dinner on Saturday night.

Club president Jamie Shirlaw said the event, at the Kingaroy Hotel, was to celebrate the season and start preparations for next season.

“We are really close to taking out the premiership in B Grade (in the Darling Downs competition),” Jamie said.

“I couldn’t be any prouder, though, of what we have done.”

He pointed out that in 2014 – his first year as president – the club had folded.

But in 2022, they roared back in C Grade with a 55-7 win over the Toowoomba Rangers in their first game.

“I could not have hoped for a better start to a new era,” Jamie said.

The Thrashers were shifted up to B Grade for the 2023 season.

In 2022, the Thrashers were eliminated in the sudden-death Minor Semi-Final, but in 2023 they made it through to the Preliminary Final before going down to Goondiwindi.

“To go up a grade and go one extra game into the finals series was absolutely fantastic!” Jamie said.

“My vision is that next year … we go all the way!”

He said the Thrashers would again be playing in the B Grade competition, “but we will make sure we win it”.

Jamie said the decision about awarding trophies was very difficult as the results in 2023 had been was very much a team effort:

  • Best Forward – Eliajah Kocovanua
  • Best Back – Mowen Boino
  • Mike Bishop’s Coach’s Award – Adam Rarere
  • Player of the Year – Apisalome “Biss” Waqatabu
  • Club Man of the Year – Epa Turaganivalu

Jamie presented the trophies, except for the last one which was handed over by last year’s Club Man of the Year, Jason Lee.

Thrashers players and club members enjoyed an end-of-season nreak-up on Saturday night


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