USQ's Angus Ramsey is caught in the Rangers' defence during a match last year.
USQ's Angus Ramsey is caught in the Rangers' defence during a match last year.

Rugby’s return excited Darling Downs

RUGBY : The Roma Echidnas typify what country rugby is all about.

After months of lockdown and isolation, the Echidnas players are excited to be kicking off their 2020 season, but they're not the only ones.

“I think the whole town is a little bit excited,” Roma captain Dan Coulthurst said.

“It’s been tough, everybody has struggled.

“Getting a little bit of normalcy back, like rugby, makes things a bit easier, though.”

Coulthurst admits he and some of the club’s players did struggle for motivation at times but a light at the end of the tunnel helped.

“Downs were great communicators during all this,” he said.

“It was pretty clear they were determined to ensure rugby went ahead in some form and that helped.

“None of knew how the season might look, but the fact we knew they (Downs Rugby) were working hard helped keep us motivated.

“Knowing there’d be a season helped a lot.”

Facing Condamine Cods in their season opener, Coulthurst is confident Roma will have a competitive edge.

“The numbers at training have been really good, probably better than last year,” he said.

“We’re still a bit of unknown, but you have to have some confidence and belief otherwise why would you bother showing up.”

USQ vs Rangers

Things didn’t USQ’s way last season.

After a promising regular season, Saints were sent out of the finals early by Rangers.

Now Saints are using that untimely end to their season as motivation in 2020.

“Things didn’t go the way we wanted to last season,” players Angus Ramsey said.

“We’re using that this year. We’re taking what worked for us and building on it to improve things.

“Everybody was doing it tough there for a while, but the coaches sent out a program for us all during lockdown and the guys did the work and that’s what kept a lot of us going.

“I think everyone is going to be in the same boat so it will be interesting to see how things go.”

There will be plenty of rugby action for Darling Downs rugby fans to enjoy this weekend with junior and senior action kicking off across the region.



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