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Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

One hundred and sixty games of rugby, 59 teams and countless memories are just some of the statistics coming out of The Armidale School’s Rugby Carnival held in Armidale over the weekend.

But it was team spirit rather than match points which awarded the Port Macquarie Manta Ray girls’ under 14s the most coveted trophy at the largest rugby carnival of its kind in Australia. 

Held in glorious autumnal conditions on 13-14 April, the two day festival of rugby enjoyed a record number of teams playing in under 12s 15-a-side and a girls 14s and 16s Sevens  tournament. 

A player from The Scots College ploughs through the defence of St Ignatius College Riverview

“The TAS carnival is great to come to because you get to meet new players from a lot of different  regions and develop your skills as a player and a team,” said Manta Rays team member Clancy Jade Townsend. 

“Everyone gets to play a lot of games – rugby can be a bit rough, but it’s so much fun,” she said. 

The teams came from Dalby and the Sunshine Coast in the north, to Canberra in the south, and Moree and Gunnedah across to the coast. On the whistle were 33 young referees from Country NSW, Country Queensland and ACT rugby zones who also developed their skills under the eye of  20 coaching and support staff including referee developers from NSW Rugby. 

Georgia Cadzow was a strong player for the TAS under 14s girls

“It’s been an absolutely fantastic carnival and an overwhelming success for the way it represents  what is best about grassroots rugby at this level,” said Huon Barrett, in his last year as carnival convenor. 

“TAS is immensely proud to host it, and it’s a wonderful event for Armidale generally.”

“But it  wouldn’t be possible with our extraordinary community and the parents, coaches, managers,  and referees, without whom it wouldn’t happen.” 

Division winners, determined by matches won across the weekend, were a mix of club and school teams: 

Under 14s girls: 1 Merewether Carlton JRU 2 Sunshine Coast Grammar School Under 16s girls: 1 Merewether Carlton JRU 1 The Armidale School 

Under 12s: 

Div 6 1 Highland Goats Armidale 2 Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School ,Tweed Heads Div 5 1 Lismore JRU 2 Central Coast Grammar School, Gosford Div 4 1 Cranbrook School, Sydney 2 Peregian Saints, Qld 

Div 3 1 St Patrick’s College, Strathfield 2 Marist Brothers Canberra 

Div 2 1 St Ignatius College, Sydney 2 Waverley College, Sydney 

Div 1 St Joseph’s College, Nudgee Brisbane 2 The Scots College, Sydney

Top image: Jayda Cohen has a run for TAS against Merewether Carlton in the under 16s Sevens competition


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