ZONE IN: Roma U12 players work together to tackle a Jandowae player at the Zone 4 Rugby League Carnival in Roma.
ZONE IN: Roma U12 players work together to tackle a Jandowae player at the Zone 4 Rugby League Carnival in Roma. Molly Hancock

Country teams battle to win

RUGBY LEAGUE: The heart of junior rugby league touched down in Roma last weekend for the annual under-12 rugby league Zone 4 carnival.

Now in its 56th year, teams from Pittsworth, Jandowae, Gold Coast, Ipswich and Charleville descended on Roma for the week-long competition.

Zone 4 committee convenor Ross Penrose said the carnival started out as a school carnival in the 1960s and still included the same six teams.

"It is now primarily comprised of junior rugby league teams and the attendance this year is great - it has always had a good turnout,” he said

"There are about 102 kids who play, and then their parents and family come along as well.”

This year also marked a special milestone for men and women who have devoted countless hours to the carnival as they were made life members.

Fourteen of the 57 life members attended the parade, including Ray Bruton, Merv Kahler, Tom O'Brien, Ron Bradbery, Ross Penrose, Steve Outen, Richard Healey, Boomer Kennedy, Alex Busuttil, Bevan Baker, Tina Maund and Ian and Betty

Wassell.

The first game of the carnival kicked off at noon on Sunday at Arthur Beetson Oval between Jandowae and Gold Coast, followed by Charleville and Pittsworth at 1pm and Roma and Ipswich at 2pm.

"Usually the city teams are very strong, especially Gold Coast and Ipswich, whereas the country teams struggle a bit because they don't have the same level of competition,” Penrose said.

"Gold Coast beat Jandowae 16-6, Pittsworth beat Charleville 8-0 and Roma beat Ipswich 22-20.”

This was the first time Roma had beaten Ipswich in 12 years.

On Monday, Charleville faced Ipswich but unfortunately they weren't strong enough and lost 50-0.