AWARDED: Dave Pearce, Mike Ireland, Terry Dodd (missing) and the BRL won the Sporting Spirit award.
AWARDED: Dave Pearce, Mike Ireland, Terry Dodd (missing) and the BRL won the Sporting Spirit award. Mike Knott BUN270116NRL3

Trial game rewarded with Australia Day award

LEAGUE: The Bundaberg Rugby League has been rewarded with an Australia Day award for the successful NRL trial between Brisbane and North Queensland at Salter Oval last year.

The association received the Sporting Spirit Award, recognition of its effort and organisation in making the game a success.

The association made sure more than 8000 people were treated to a great game in the region.

That was after battling mother nature, including removing about 60,000L of water from the field.

BRL chairman Mike Ireland said it was a proud moment for the BRL team.

"It's great for our hard-working committee,” he said.

"We put our necks out for the event, guaranteeing to pay for both teams accommodation and travel, so it was fantastic for it to be a success.”

Ireland said the award would not have happened without plenty of support from the community.

"The Bundaberg Regional Council helped us a lot and Councillor Dave Field gave us a huge hand and plenty of support,” he said.

"It would have also not been a success without our patrons.

"To get 8120 people braving the conditions was great.”

And now the organisation is focusing on future events for the region.

"We're in the process of talking to Intrust Super Cup teams to get a game at Salter Oval this year,” Ireland said.

"We're also in the process of writing to the NRL to get a regular season match here in 2018.”

And Ireland is confident they can get a game here.

"We've got the facility to host the match,” he said.

"We're also confident of getting the capacity of Salter Oval up to 13,000.”

For now though the association is focusing on the new BRL season with Ireland confident of another strong year in A-Grade.

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