It was a truly remarkable weekend for our sport of Touch Rugby League with over 60 teams, 850 players and 1,500 officials, staff and supporters descending on Dolphins Stadium in Redcliffe for the 2017 TRL Australian Championships held from Friday 29 September to Sunday October 1, 2017.
This was another record-breaking event for the sport and the result of an immense amount of work performed by everyone involved, headed by the Operations Manager for the TRL Australia, Mason Part, who I thank for a successful tournament.
State of Origin Series
We kicked off the weekend under the Friday night lights of Dolphins Stadium where we witnessed our first ever three-game State of Origin Series being Live Streamed across the nation – featuring a play-by-play camera, roving sideline camera, referee microphone, replays, highlights and full commentary.
We also welcomed our inaugural Queensland and New South Wales Women’s State of Origin sides.
Both teams played with incredible spirit and pride in the jersey, however it was Queensland in the end who took out the clean sweep in all divisions.
On Saturday morning we featured two standalone International Games: Australia v New Zealand (Men’s) and Vietnam v Rest of the World (Mixed).
Reece Janson and Khanui Cox, teammates for Beenleigh, lined up against each other as opposing captain’s in the inaugural Trans-Tasman Test which saw New Zealand emerge victorious.
The Rest of the World team captained by Darren Gehrke (representing players from the Philippines, PNG, Samoa and Malaysia) were the winners against a strong Vietnam outfit captained by Lam Trinh.
The Tournament kicked off after the Internationals which featured a standalone Women’s Division competing in the Australian Championships for the very first time.
Teams played 7 round games over the course of two days with the Grand Finalists for Men’s and Mixed going as far as 10 games in a show of immense skill, endurance and stamina.
Congratulations are in order for South Brisbane (Women’s) and Logan (Mixed and Men’s) who are the 2017 Australian Champions.
I also congratulate our runners-up of the tournament – Rockhampton (Women’s), Sunshine Coast (Mixed) and Beenleigh (Men’s).
In addition to Grand Final glory we also presented a number of other accolades on the weekend.
Firstly, congratulations to our Referees of the Finals Series (recipients listed below) and Andrew Blades (Beenleigh) who was selected as Referee of the Tournament for his outstanding performance over the weekend.
We also presented the “Tim Swan Medal” for the Best and Fairest Male and Female Player of the Tournament which was awarded to Amelia Kukk (South Brisbane) and Michael Rasmussen (Logan).
Finally, we thank everyone who has contributed to the successful running of the event with a special mention to Moreton Bay Regional Council for their tremendous support and Redcliffe Dolphins for hosting our event. We also thank our partners, ISC, PhysioWorks, Steeden and DoubleTake Live.
The curtain has fallen on the Australian Championships for another year and I congratulate all players on your fantastic performance and pay tribute to the media and staff who made the event such an incredible success.
Tim Swan Medal – Best & Fairest Male Player of the Tournament
Michael Rasmussen (Logan – Men’s & Mixed)
Tim Swan Medal – Best & Fairest Female Player of the Tournament
Amelia Kukk (South Brisbane – Women’s)
Referee of the Tournament
Andrew Blades (Beenleigh)
Finals Series Referees
Joel Johnston (Gold Coast)
Stevie O’Shea (Wynnum/Redlands)
Live Stream Links