Port Douglas rugby tournament on the rise/Newsport

Monday February 24th 2014

Port Douglas rugby tournament on the rise

Organisers are anticipating a record crowd ahead of the annual Port Douglas Rugby Sevens tournament this Saturday.

More than 150 players representing nineteen teams will take the field with $5000 awarded to the winning senior men's team.

Now in its fourth year, organiser Adam Calcraft says the tournament's reputation continues to grow.

"We started off with just eight teams at our first tournament," he says.

"This year, most of the sides have contacted us to play in it which is a good sign."

The carnival will also feature defending champions, the Tabubil Cats direct from Papua New Guinea.

Mr Calcraft says the Cats will be hard to beat again this year.

"I don't think they kicked the ball once that day," he says.

"They scored tries from all over the park."

Mr Calcraft says he hopes to eventually increase the number of teams to 60 and spread the games across a full weekend.

Four women's teams will also compete for the first time this year, including a team from Townsville.

Organisers say the event is sure to bring business to the region with several teams booking hotel rooms in recent weeks.  

Mr Calcraft says restaurant and bars won't miss out either.

"At end of the day the boys tend to get a bit thirsty," he says.

Matches start from 8:30am on at the Port Douglas Sports Complex on Wharf Street with the final expected to kick off at 6pm.

Mr Calcraft says he expects a crowd of more than 500 attend the matches.

"There are plenty of back packers from the UK around and they all know their rugby, so hopefully we get a few down," he says.