CHALLENGERS: The Western Downs team at the Mustangs Challenge in Miles last weekend.
CHALLENGERS: The Western Downs team at the Mustangs Challenge in Miles last weekend. Marena Baker

Wild dogs step up at Mustangs Challenge

WRITING themselves into the record books, the Western Downs Wild Dogs have not only managed to win their first ever game at the Mustangs Challenge in three years, but took out runners-up for the competition.

Last weekend the Wild Dogs - a team consisting of football players from Chinchilla, Wandoan, Miles and Jandowae - competed in the Mustangs Challenge in Miles.

They faced teams from as far north as Longreach, right down to Carina in Brisbane.

This carnival was a little different though, leaving their modified rules behind for international rules including the introduction of scrums, conversion kicking and scoring.

Western Downs Junior Rugby League president Tamara Pitt said it was all about getting the boys up to that next playing level.

"It all starts to change a little bit for them now,” Pitt said.

"There's more talk, more strategy introduced and they are learning how to further develop their game play.”

Coach Scott Samuels was very impressed by the way players adapted to the rules, noticing a huge improvement from their first game to the grand final.

They did however find kicking for goal and using a bigger ball challenging.

They gave it their all in a thrilling semi-final and grand final, going down to Toowoomba by just two points.

"We had a good side with some players who have developed their skills in the South West teams and through zone experiences,” Samuels said.

"Joe Volker and Tyler Crosland were real standouts for our team by the way they listened and put into place what we talked about,” Samuels said.

"Hayden Baker and Koen Zerbst also really stood out over the weekend playing in a few unfamiliar positions.”

Described as a great way to finish off what has been a massive year of football, it wouldn't have been possible without the help of a dedicated team.

"I would like to thank the other coaches Mark Linguard and Matt Moore and also our first aid officer Hannah Green,” Samuels said.

"It was also nice to have our number one supporter Jaxon Green from Wandoan there to support the boys as well.”

For all the action from this year's carnival check out the photo gallery below: