Viking Cup to boost rugby union
RUGBY UNION: The 2016 Viking Cup was played at Proserpine's Junior Sporting Complex on Sunday, with another strong showing from across the region.
Teams from Mackay and the Central Highlands joined Whitsunday with teams from under-6s, 8s, 10s, 12s, 14s and 16s competing in a round robin.
Whitsunday junior rugby union president Craig Spence said the carnival was about promoting the sport in the region.
"It's just to get the kids into some rugby because the rugby around here isn't as big as what league is," he said.
"We're trying to encourage union as an after league sport. We'd like to keep that going and get those juniors going to also maintain our senior team in the Mackay competition."
Now in its fourth year, the Viking Cup featured players from across the Whitsundays with teams made up from all schools including Proserpine High, Proserpine State, St Catherine's, Cannonvale State and Whitsunday Christian College.
The day finished with a host of MVP and best and fairest awards for each team.
Spence said rugby union was an all-inclusive sport.
"It's a sport that's across all physical sizes, it's not all big fellas. It's a game that no matter what size you are they can play," he said.
"The scrum-halfs are traditionally the smallest on field, the wingers are a bit faster and the forwards are the bigger boys."
Spence said union taught kids about teamwork, mateship and camaraderie.
"It's a team sport, it's bonding and you tend to have to support your players a lot more in union than you do in league," he said.
"With union, you go into a tackle, you need two or three players over the top of you.
"The difference between union and league is the ball is alive at all times. In union whenever the ball is in the field of play it's alive. We tend to get the league guys enjoy that bit more."
It was a big weekend of junior rugby union as Whitsunday players also travelled to Mackay on Saturday to play in Mackay's Super Saturday.
With more than 120 kids across the Whitsundays signed up for junior rugby union this season, it's shaping up to be one of their biggest seasons yet.
Whitsunday recently supplied two players to the Queensland Country representative team with Spence saying they had provided "traditionally high numbers" to Queensland Rugby's Junior Gold Cup.