Mates go head-to-head as Old Boys a smash success

BREAK ON THROUGH TO THE OTHER SIDE: Old Boy and Gympie Councillor Glen Hartwig takes an unpolitical approach to the problem.
BREAK ON THROUGH TO THE OTHER SIDE: Old Boy and Gympie Councillor Glen Hartwig takes an unpolitical approach to the problem. LEEROY TODD

WITH '70s and '80s classics blasting through the air, old friends faced off on the rugby field in spirited battle at the Old Boys Veterans' Rugby Tournament.

More than 80 players registered for the over-35 tournament, taking part in a day which was so successful Gympie had already been guaranteed a return carnival next year.

While many of them left the field battered and bruised, Gympie Hammers coach Jason McPherson said there was no doubt they were all winners.

"As a club day it was the most successful day we've had as the new Hammers,” he said, pointing to an effort which would no doubt make a mark with the younger generation.

Brendan Jemison.
Brendan Jemison. LEEROY TODD

"I think it was a bit of a shock for some of the younger players to see there's still people playing rugby union at 78 years old.”

In keeping with celebrating the "spirit of the game”, many players were eager to lend a hand to help those teams who were undermanned.

With more players on hand, some volunteered their services to take the field for other sides.

McPherson said this gave mates who had known each other for many years the chance to go head-to-head.

"We had a lot more numbers than some of the teams that travelled, we actually got to play against some of our mates,” McPherson said.

And how did it feel to go head-to-head against long-time friends and former teammates?

"That was a lot of fun. It was a really really good day,” he said.

Jason McPherson.
Jason McPherson. LEEROY TODD

Of course, this also led to some tentative movement in the following days.

"I did mention to someone yesterday that getting up off the couch was about as delicate a process as trying to save a wet Scotch Finger biscuit from a cup of coffee,” he said.

McPherson said the Old Boys weren't the only ones to have fun on the field.

The Gympie Hammers men's side fell to Maleny 19-3 in a valiant effort. They had lost to Maleny 37-12 the last time they played.

"The boys are playing very good rugby and as the season goes on they're just getting better and better,” McPherson said.

"It was a really, really good battle.”

Success was not only to be found on the field of play, either.

About 160 meals were sold, cleaning the caterers out for the day.

"They sold out of everything they'd catered for,” McPherson said.

He extended his thanks to all of the volunteers and players who helped make the day so successful.

"No one screwed up their nose when they were asked to do anything, they just got in and contributed,” McPherson said.

"It was a very profitable day for the club and I'm sure the younger players will learn from it.

"Everything was about playing rugby, there was no spite in anything that was done throughout the day.

"It was just a top notch day.”

Topics:  gympie hammers gympie hammers rugby union gympie sport old boys

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