JUNIOR UNION: St Patricks Catholic Primary School's James Waters playing against Bundaberg Christian College at Across the Waves Sports ground on Friday, 21 August 2015. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail
JUNIOR UNION: St Patricks Catholic Primary School's James Waters playing against Bundaberg Christian College at Across the Waves Sports ground on Friday, 21 August 2015. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail Max Fleet

Competition gains strength in numbers

WHEN the Primary Schools Rugby Union Cup kicked off the teams were small and the games did not go for long, but after three years the competition continues to grow into one of the most popular of Friday afternoon sports.

Six teams are participating in the premiership and it is the only primary school competition outside Brisbane on offer, event organiser and Bundaberg and District Junior Rugby Union (BDJRU) development officer Maynard Heap said the sport was gaining a reputation among the students.

"We have boys and girls from schools in Childers to Kalkie taking part, and most of them have never played union before," Heap said.

"They are enjoying themselves and I heard one kid say 'how come we can't play rugby all year at school?'.

"The skill levels in week one are very high, and credit to the teachers and parents for their efforts and time in training these young athletes.

In the Cup's early years player numbers were limited but in 2015 the games were played with 15 on each team, giving the boys a taste of what rugby union is all about.

BDJRU president Jeff Messitt said the School's Cup provided a great opportunity for children to experience real rugby, fun, friendship and fraternity as it is done throughout the world in the 15-man game.

Messitt started playing rugby in a school competition at primary school in Ireland and through the opportunities the sport provided him he is now on the other side of the world.

After two rounds East State School leads the competition with a 4-0 record, St Luke's Anglican School is second and Childers is third on for and against.

Week three will be contested on Friday at The Waves Sports Complex with games starting at 1pm.