Townsville Wasps

Townsville WaspsThe Townsville Wasps were formed in 1987 to contest the first State carnival held on the Gold Coast.  The following year they hosted the carnival and were unlucky runners-up to an extremely strong and underrated Toowoomba side.

They competed in 10 straight carnivals winning their first State Championships in Cairns in 1992.  They had to wait until 1995 to claim their second State crown, but by this time they had to combined with Mt Isa for the Logan carnival, due to lack of numbers.

In 1996, Townsville again hosted the carnival and were strongly tipped to take the title, however, due to unforeseen (and probably illegal) player recruitment by Wide Bay (who had recruited Mal Meninga), the Whales defeated the hot favourites forcing them out of the finals.  Townsville were obviously shell-shocked by Meninga’s appearance that they didn’t even contest the Plate Final.  With this devastating blow to morale, the Wasps could not field a side in 1997, some players did join Mt Isa to attend the carnival, but most players preferred to remain in the northern capital and throw darts at pictures of Meninga.

At the Mt Isa carnival in 1998, the Wasps tried to recover, however, with the side full of youth and vastly inexperienced in the powder keg of Police football, they could not rise to the occasion and were severely annihilated, further destroying the little remaining morale that existed.  As a result, they did not field a team for the next 2 years, until an influx of new blood into the area, saw a renewed interest in the carnival.

With pride on the line, Townsville travelled to Cairns in 2002, with a view to blooding these new players into the competition.  Due to the reduced travelling budget, the players adapted as best they could to sleeping on the floor of a surf club for the week at a reduced cost – beds were a luxury they couldn’t afford.  This may have had some impact on their match fitness, especially on the veterans, Nev Yunker and Dave “Speed Bump” Goode.  Even though the team had no high aspirations, if any at all, they nearly knocked over the hosts in their first game, but a lack of players due to injury and untimely sinbinning, saw them crumble to a 10 point loss in the last 10 minutes.  This was to be the highlight of the carnival for the new breed of Wasps.

The next game saw the team thrashed by a much stronger and cunning (ie ring-in filled) CQ outfit.  Even though the Wasps did not perform on the field, they certainly won the “best dressed” stakes for their “cow” shirts and brightly coloured playing strip.  Cairns was left with a lasting impression of 15 very large cows hobbling and wobbling down the main street.

The instability of Townsvilles strength in numbers over the years finally took its toll in 2006, when an agreement was reached with the Mt Isa Mongrels to merge to form the very strong Northern Stingers representing the Northern Police Region.

The Wasps can lay claim to many very good Police footballers with Qld reps Felix Creedy (1947), Rob Weir & Nev Yunker (1998), Willie Morganson (2001, 2003 & 2005) and John Buttigieg and Ben Rauter (2005)