By Ron Lane
As I stepped up on to the deck of the Noosa Dolphins Rugby Club on Sunday evening (out of the torrential rain) the big fella sitting on a chair to my left watched. As I drew level and made eye contact, I had to ask, “Did you blokes bring the rain with you?” Without a moment’s hesitation the big Fijian stood up, grabbed me and laughing, gave me a big hug and replied. ‘’We sure did, mate.”
To me this small incident indicated the atmosphere of what could have been a complete disaster. The occasion was, of course, the closing finals of the three day, Noosa Rugby 7s Carnival; the biggest in Australia for some time.
Out on the field two college teams were ignoring the conditions to give their best and on the deck and inside people were moving around some drenched and laughing, some dry; those on the front edge of the deck would occasionally open their umbrellas and hold them down in front, as the wind sent the rain into the front seats.
For the rest of the afternoon as the rain became more torrential, once the teams passed the halfway and ran toward the goal posts at the far end, what was happening was anybody’s guess. However, what stood out was that despite conditions of rain falling on to the field after being driven sideways, the standard of rugby was beyond the expected; in particular the ball control was good and the number of dropped passes was unbelievably small.
All players really gave it their best; and by doing so still made the afternoon better than expected. Those unsung heroes – the referees and linesmen – also rose to the occasion.
In summing up the carnival, Dolphins president Donald McKill said, “Despite the conditions it really was incredible, nobody missed a beat; everyone stuck to it and did their job.”
It really goes to show that the spirit of rugby and, in particular, in the Dolphins Club is alive and well.
For Brisbane team Tribe 7, it was indeed a successful carnival. Not only did they win the Men’s Elite but also the Women’s and to cap it off the Under 18 Girls; Brisbane Fiji won the Under 18 Boys.
The Tribe 7 team – which is Brisbane based – is selected from those playing in the high performance (7-a-side) teams and its players are invited to join; a system similar to the selection of the famous internationals, the Barbarians.
“Disregarding conditions, all 85 teams turned up and over three days played some 180 games; all made possible by a great work force that spent seven days preparing. Our workers and our sponsors were great,” McKill said.
“Many thanks to Tourism Noosa, IGA Marketplace, Kennards Hire, Matai Sports, ATF Fencing, Surf Club Noosa and Noosa Council. All in all, definitely three days to remember.”