The top division may have been taken out by a Sydney representative team for the fourth year but a Canberra school team making its first appearance won the most prestigious award of the largest primary aged rugby carnival in the country.
At the official presentation following around 120 games of junior rugby at the 15th TAS Rugby Carnival over the weekend, Canberra Grammar School were named the Team of the Carnival, for performance and sportsmanship on and off the field.
Canberra Grammar were one of two new teams at the carnival, which was contested by a record 51 school, club and representative teams from as far as Perth, Dalby, the Sunshine Coast and the ACT.
"To see all these kids come here and enjoy the game that so many of us have loved and appreciated over the years and seeing the best values of the game instilled in the next generation is something very special and you just can't buy," said former Wallaby and TAS Old Boy James Holbeck, who was special guest at this year's carnival.
"Sometimes we can all get a bit caught up that the game is all about the professional level, but it's not, it's all about the game without the money and this weekend is a great example of that, of volunteers coming together and believing in rugby union, and that is a great reminder of what is important to the game, right up to Wallabies level."
Teams played four games each on Saturday and a final on Sunday, in five divisions.
Two Sydney teams battled it out in the top division, with Southern Districts defeating Waverley College Gold. Surfers Paradise JRC defeated St Pius X College Sydney in the second division, Caboolture Snakes took out Division 3 over Nudgee College White (Brisbane), the Moree Junior Bulls were runners up to Gordon Tartans in Division 4, while Pacific Lutheran College (Caloundra) defeated Wollongbar Alstonville JRC in Division 5.
Nudgee College won the Spirit of Rugby relay, a footrace that brings together players from every team in the carnival.
Preparations for this year's carnival started as soon as the 2018 carnival was completed.
"Whilst it is a magnificent display of rugby, it is also a wonderful reflection of the power of community, from our parents, staff and friends who cater and prepare the grounds and logistics to the efforts of our visitors, some of which fundraise in their home communities all year to enable boys and girls to have this opportunity," Carnival convenor Will Caldwell said.