Wingers tackle depression in style

THE wingers scored all the points at the first Scott Campbell Memorial Game at Ken Chillingworth Oval on Sunday.

Brendan Rixon is jammed up in this tackle for the 11s.  080614BSF11

Brendan Rixon is jammed up in this tackle for the 11s. 080614BSF11

Every player from the Pirates Walgett team had the number 11 on their blue jerseys while all the white Kings and Albies jerseys had 14.

The numbers represented the positions that Scott Campbell played for all four sides before he lost his battle with depression last year.

A good crowd turned out to watch the match, before moving on to the White Elephant Ball on Sunday night.

The game ball was brought in by Westpac Rescue chopper and kicked off by Scott’s wife Katrina with international referee George Ayoub with the whistle.

That was where the niceties ended for 80 minutes.

A big White on Blue hit in the opening phase of play set the tone and a great game of rugby followed.

The white side had brought many players out of retirement, although you couldn’t tell as some silky skills came back to the fore.

They crossed twice in the first 10 minutes, and after going into the sheds up at 12-17 never lost the lead.

The Blues were not out of it though, and responded in kind with a couple of good tries of their own.

It wouldn’t be a game at Ken Chillingworth Oval if Conrad “Five” Starr didn’t score a try.

After backing up from a good game and try on Saturday against Scone, Starr was one of the Blues best, but it was the White team’s day.

Great cut-out passes and some side to side and end to end rugby highlighted what was a great day for spectators.

Ayoub was more than impressed with the level of rugby, even comparing it to the New Zealand England clash on Saturday night that he officiated at before flying back to Australia for this match.

“They were very good,” Ayoub said.

“I didn’t expect it to be so serious but it was good.”

“Less scrappy than the test.”

White captain Tim Miller who played with Campbell at Albies and Kings College said it was a wonderful day and a beautiful moment.

The captain picked out Andrew Deans and Will Hosking as best on field.

“We shocked ourselves with how we played,” Miller said.

“It is a great day but unfortunate that it came to this.”

Organiser and Blue captain Bart Leach thanked the crowd, players and officials for coming out to support the cause and remember Scott.

Sunday night saw 550 people attend the sold out White Elephant Ball for the same cause.

Proceeds from the whole day went to a new charity, Batyr, that aims to lift the lid on depression and anxiety.