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18 October, 2021

Oakey does community proud in Queensland Murri Carnival

After COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the 2020 event, the Oakey Redbelly Blacks Rugby League Mens Open and Under 18 sides were raring to go when the Murri Carnival came to the South Pine Sports Complex last month.

Oakey Redbelly Blacks Under 18 players Kaleb Stanton and Terrell Anderson look to tackle and opposing player at the Murri Carnival last month. - Photo, Simone Cooper Stanton

The annual rugby league pits Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander rugby league teams from across  the state against each other as well as promoting positive health messages.

This year’s carnival also featured an Australian-first COVID-19 vaccination hub and education centre promoting getting a jab and other COVID-19 prevention measures.

Oakey Redbelly Blacks president and coach of both the Under 18 and Open teams, Peter Wharton, said he could not be prouder of the sides, especially the younger players who showed their skills and maturity throughout the carnival. 

Mr Wharton said three of the Under 18 players, Kaleb Stanton from Oakey, Jamal Gibbs and Tyler Peckham Harris, made the Queensland Murri Merritt side which is a team of the best players from the carnival.

“Congratulations to you guys. 

“We very proud of you young fellas for representing our team and your communities and giving your best throughout the Carnival,” he said.

Mr Wharton said the Open Men’s side showed that they could stand up against the best of the best.

He said they had a difficult first match but followed it with a great second game. 

“Our second game against the Sunshine Coast Bunyas, was a great turning point for the team finding our feet with five-eighth Chris Woodbridge scoring three tries and hooker Dylan White pulling in a four try scoring spree.

“Our Captain Damon Anderson had a blinder at second row.”

Overall the Open side finished 11th on the ladder out of 18 sides.

“It was a great carnival for both grades, we are so proud of them all,” Mr Wharton said.

“We’ll be back again next year stronger and better.

Mr Wharton said he’d like to thank their sponsors who make the Oakey Redbelly Blacks team and carnival trip a reality.

The sponsors included Bernborough Security, Little Black Duck Cleaning Services, BodyFit Oakey, Aboriginal Influence Sydney, The Oakey Pharmacy, Christine Tully, and Cunnamulla BP Service Station.

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