Rugby sporting greats cheered on players in the ‘battle of the mines’ contest at the Cloncurry Eddie Lee Recreation ground in May. As major sponsor for the Midwest Ladies, MMG awarded medals together with supplying a gazebo and seating for The Arthur Beetson Foundation Ladies Outback Challenge. Dugald River’s Gemma Green, Environment Superintendent and local resident, was instrumental in organising MMG’s role in the event.
The Midwest Ladies (Normanton & Hughenden) claimed victory after winning the toss and tackling Barkly Highway Ladies (Cloncurry & Mt Isa) – sponsored by Glencore’s Ernest Henry Mine. Armed with their medals, the winning Midwest Ladies team face off against the Southern Outback team on June 12, selected to play in the Northern Outback representative women’s line-up.
“The Barkly Highway Ladies stormed out of the blocks to hold a commanding 16 point to 0 lead after the first 15 minutes of the game despite some heroic tackles by Midwest’s Lexie,” said MMG’s John Young. “Unfortunately, just before half time Lexie suffered a fractured arm and the Midwest Ladies seemed to have a near impossible task to claw their way back into the game. After a heart-warming send off for Lexie, the Midwest Ladies lifted their work rate and inside the last two minutes of the game the girls scored and converted an amazing try to win the game by two points. The teamwork, spirit, intensity and determination was inspiring. A delight to watch and cheer on!”
Some 250 rugby league outback enthusiasts converged for the Challenge, an important pathway for aspiring players to gain recognition and selection. This was the way forward for North QLD Cowboys and QLD Maroons forward, Coen Hess, who played as a 15 year old at the inaugural 2011 Winton event.
Other QLD rugby greats at the challenge with MMG’s John Young, Nathan Marles, Gabrielle Biffin and Clay Van Ryt and Cloncurry Mayor and Council CEO were:
- Steph Hancock who currently plays for St George Illawarra Dragons in the NRL Women’s Premiership and the Souths Logan Magpies in the QRL Women’s Premiership.
- Renae Kunst who retired from professional rugby league in 2017 after captaining and playing for the Qld Maroons since 2007.
- Matt Scott who Retired from rugby at the end of 2019 after a stroke.
Cloncurry Mayor, Greg Campbell, passed on the local community’s appreciation of MMG’s sponsorship. A football signed by the Midwest Ladies and a plaque recognises MMG’s funding and support.