HISTORIC DAY: The Cathedral College’s Patrick Dever and Rockhampton High’s Toby Milner mark the start of the Rockhampton secondary schools rugby league competition 100 years ago.

Picture: Allan Reinikka
HISTORIC DAY: The Cathedral College’s Patrick Dever and Rockhampton High’s Toby Milner mark the start of the Rockhampton secondary schools rugby league competition 100 years ago. Picture: Allan Reinikka

Milestone for secondary schools rugby league in Rocky

RUGBY LEAGUE: Rockhampton High's Toby Milner and The Cathedral College's Patrick Dever donned their school football kits on Tuesday to mark a special moment in rugby league history.

They took their place at the Gymnasium Grounds where, 100 years to the day, the first secondary schools rugby league competition kicked off in Rockhampton.

Rockhampton High teacher Robert Brodie said it was important to celebrate the foundation of a competition which today boasts 84 teams from 10 schools and is recognised as one of the most successful of its kind in Australia.

The 1920 competition had four teams - Rockhampton High, Christian Brothers College (which is now TCC), Rockhampton Grammar and a Combined State Schools.

Rockhampton High and CBC went head-to-head in the inaugural game. Who won it and who won overall that year is not known because no official records have been found.

Brodie said the competition did not resume in 1921 but inter-school games were played up to 1926.

In 1927, the Central Queensland Boys Secondary Schools Sports Association was formed, with interschool rugby league played under its auspices until 1973.

There were no games played in 1942 due to World War II and in 1951 due to the poliomyelitis epidemic.

There was a 10-year hiatus from 1974, with the competition in its current form running uninterrupted from 1984.

Brodie said the 2020 season was set to start on Wednesday, July 15, but that was dependent on COVID-19 restrictions.

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