The Wide Bay representative rugby union team before the long trip to Tieri where they tackled the Outback Barbarians.
The Wide Bay representative rugby union team before the long trip to Tieri where they tackled the Outback Barbarians. VALERIE HORTON

Barbarians savage Wide Bay

WIDE Bay may have lost the game but it passed a representative rugby union test with flying colours in Tieri.

The Outback Barbarians beat Wide Bay, a team coached by Hervey Bay’s Mark Cassidy, 41-17.

Although the final score wasn’t pretty, Queensland Rugby Union Country official Brent Hagan said he liked what he saw from the Wide Bay team, a line-up which included players from the Fraser Coast, Gympie and Bundaberg.

“They surprised me with the quality of football they produced,” Hagan said.

“For a team thrown together not long ago, and with only a couple of training sessions under their belts, they played exceptionally well.

“It was only in the last quarter that the Outback Barbarians piled on a few points.

“They (the Outback Barbarians) are a quality team, but Wide Bay stuck with them for long passages of the game.

“The score was 24-17 at half-time, so Wide Bay was certainly competitive.”

The game was used as a hit-out to see if Wide Bay could handle the rigours of contesting the Queensland Country Championships next year.

Hagan said he was sure Cassidy and his men could.

“Judging on this performance, they could,” he said.

“It would be great to see them in action.”

Cassidy, who spent three years coaching the Fraser Coast Mariners in the Sunshine Coast Rugby Union competition before giving up the job four years ago, said he had also been impressed by the performance.

“It was the first time plenty of the players had played representative football and they did well,” Cassidy, a Hervey Bay physiotherapist, said.

“They knew it was a big step up from club football and they adjusted to it.

“We scored the first try of the game, which was impressive, and the rest of the first half was a bit of an arm wrestle.

“We competed well and we’ve certainly got something to build on now.

“We’re moving forward.”



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