15 February, 2023
Snakes bring home Luke Howard Memorial Cup
The Caboolture Snakes won the Luke Howard Memorial Cup after the men’s and women’s rugby union teams recorded victories over Brothers Rockhampton at the Rockhampton-based Victoria Park last Saturday.
The Caboolture men’s first graders prevailed 10-7, after the Caboolture women’s team triumphed 19-7.
A memorable part of the occasion was a great display in the women’s match from Shannon Howard, the sister of the late Luke Howard who had played for both clubs.
Following the long bus ride, the Caboolture players encountered hot and dry conditions as temperatures were well into the 30s.
The men’s contest was played in quarters of 20 minutes, with a converted try to Walter Su’a and a subsequent penalty goal giving the Snakes a 10-0 lead before Brothers hit back with a converted try.
Caboolture tightened up its defence and hung on to win narrowly.
Snakes secretary Brad Lawrie and coach Wilson Enoka were happy with the hit-out, while acknowledging Luke Howard’s legacy.
“It was a good team effort, everyone got in and got their job done,” Lawrie said.
“The players did exactly what Luke would’ve done: play for each other, play hard, and no backward steps.”
Enoka said the Snakes fielded a decent squad while it was good to see Brothers also had strong numbers.
“It was good for us to have a hit-out and see where we’re at,” Enoka said.
“It was awesome.”
Sam Hoffman, 17-year-old Jacob Prjla and a couple of new signings including Rhyan Locke and Harry Raven were among Caboolture’s standout performers.
Enoka said Hoffman “slotted back in” and “put his body on the line” after coming back from injury, while Locke was good with his passing, and providing direction.
Enoka said another of Hoffman’s qualities was being vocal in a way which helped his teammates, while Raven was aggressive as he played the full game.
Prjla played at fullback and on the wing, with Enoka saying the teenager wasn’t shy nor scared while he could pass both ways, and kick effectively.
Walls was also impressed with a couple of newcomers in the women’s match, which featured only 10 players per side as numerous Snakes players were absent.
The contest lasted only 30 minutes, with three periods of 10 minutes.
Walls said “it was a fantastic hit-out” after the Snakes women hadn’t had many training sessions this year, apart from several weeks of fitness-related activity.
“The physical side they really enjoyed, especially after about eight hours on the bus,” Walls said.
“I was thoroughly impressed with the way they took to it.
“It was a bit rusty at times but that was to be expected.”
Walls said he was a little concerned as the Snakes looked tired towards the end of the first third, before they “freshened up” in the second third.
Walls said Shannon Howard “was playing for her brother…she played out of her skin” and was heroic in defence at times.
Howard scored a try while Caboolture’s other tryscorers, Rachelle Ware and Lupe Fetaui, also played superbly for the victors.