A day of footy, friends and fun at reconciliation carnival
RUGBY LEAGUE: Potential stars of the future were on display in Toowoomba on Saturday when indigenous players from all points came together for the 2018 Warriors Reconciliation Carnival.
The annual rugby league tournament drew more than 2000 people to Brothers Juniors grounds, where the emphasis was on football, friendship and fun.
This year's ninth anniversary carnival attracted 14 teams from centres including Gatton, Charleville, Chinchilla, Toomelah, Cherbourg, Brisbane, Kambu, Tenterfield, Inverell and Oakey.
This year also marked the return of the Toowoomba Warriors to the field.
Toomelah were the champions after defeating Brisbane Blacks 40-6 in the final.
Barambah Magpies downed South West Brothers in the Plate Final.
The day also featured a women's exhibition match between Toowoomba Warriors and Mummas Pride from the Tenterfield region.
Players on show this year included Aaron Cherry, Josh Stanton, Corey McGrady, Braydon Mitchell and Tristan Passman, who are due to line up next month for the South West Emus against the TRL All Stars.
The game is a curtain-raiser to the Titans and Broncos trial match played at Clive Berghofer Stadium on February 17.
Gatton were represented on the day by the Woolacott Warriors, a side made up of several local players, in honour of the late Ian Woolacott.
They won their first game of the carnival 16-14 but were defeated in their next fixture to be knocked out of the running.
Local boys Callum Woolacott, Josh Belz, Chris Bachmann, Daniel Marsh, Dom Haak, Alex Groves and Micheal Woolacott took part.
But event co-organiser and Warriors club president Tom Clevin said the January Toowoomba carnival extended beyond rugby league.
"It's people getting together,” Clevin said.
"We've got people here from out west, New South Wales and Brisbane catching up with family and getting together.
"Football-wise it's a lot about grass-roots and young fellas getting involved.
"It's definitely a social day but with some good prize- money on offer everyone is still out there to win.”