RUGBY union fans of all ages were given plenty to cheer about when Rugtoberfest kicked off in Armidale last Friday.
The New England Hotel played host to the first function for the supporters on Friday night before a jam packed Saturday match program saw hundreds of people stroll the gates of Bellevue Oval. Men and women took to the field in Saturday’s matches with players old and new strapping on the boots.
The carnival’s main game featuring some of Australia and New Zealand’s best female rugby players was scrapped prior to the commencement of the event but there was still plenty of talent on display. Old and new players strapped on the boots at Rugtoberfest and organiser Scott Williams from Sports Think Tank said the weekend went well and they are looking to hold more in the future.
“For the final size that Rugtoberfest was, it was a tremendous success,” he said.
“So much so that we are now looking to build a relationship with the University of New England and New England Rugby Union to make this a calendar event.
“I had massive personnel expectations when we first discussed this, but then when reality hit home, we had to roll with the hand dealt and adapted quickly. All that attended had a fantastic time.”
It was estimated between 200 and 300 people watched the matches and plenty of rugby fans attended Saturday night’s event at the Wicklow Hotel.
“100 people attended both Friday night and Saturday nights events with only 20 of the 60 attending the Sunday morning brunch,” Williams said.
The event brought plenty of UNE alumni and former players to Armidale. Teams from Warialda, Tamworth and the North Coast participated in the event and were happy to reminisce on their glory days.
“Everyone was so happy to catch up with their friends from many years ago,” Williams said. Williams hoped future Rugtoberfest will be even more popular with past and present players as he looks to build on this year’s event. He said he is looking at engaging more of the university’s alumni for future carnivals.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.