North Queensland’s young junior rugby players took centre stage recently in two major carnivals aimed to foster participation and enjoyment in the sport.

The National Rugby League-run Under-10s Annandale Challenge at Brothers Rugby League Club last week attracted 29 teams from 20 schools in games played across three tiers. Matthew Wright and Sam Hoare were among the Cowboys players to attend the carnival.

Results from the competition were:

  • Tier 1 - The Willows def. Ryan College
  • Tier 2 - St. Clare's def. Queens Beach
  • Tier 3 - Ingham SS def. Wulguru SS

Also on the weekend, the Paul Bowman Challenge – an under-9s carnival named in honour of the Cowboys life member No. 1 and former captain – was held in Bowman’s home town of Proserpine with 720 players from 48 teams taking part.

The kids all took part in the Sam Faust Memorial Relay Race – named in honour of the late former Cowboys forward – while the grand final was won by the Burdekin Roosters over Southern Suburbs Cockatoos. The Ivanhoe Knights took out the club sportsmanship award.

Bowman himself travelled to the Challenge, while several Mackay Cutters players also supported the event.