GALLERY: Teams benefited from first proper hit-out
RUGBY LEAGUE: Rugby League was the real winner as both Gladstone Wallabys and Gladstone Valleys put on a top show at Wallaby's Albion Park home ground on Saturday.
And it were the visitors which wrested back the Annual Club Challenge trophy for the eighth time since the competition's inception in 2011.
The successful day - for Gladstone Rugby League as a whole - ended with a powerful Valleys' 58-10 win in the men's match.
Valleys' coach Russell 'Rusty' O'Dwyer was encouraged with the result, but said the club was not to get carried away.
"It was a good hit-out and I had a fair few players to work with and some did not get full minutes," he said.
O'Dwyer, who took over the reigns from Dennis Moore, said he was pleased with the fitness level despite the heat.
"We dominated and put pressure on them early, but they scored late in the game," he said.
Valleys travel to Brisbane for a trial match against Brisbane Valleys on Saturday, March 9.
Injured Wallabys player Sean Collins said despite the loss, it was a solid and physical match and the players will be better for the run.
"We have got a new bunch of players as do Valleys and at the start, the Wallabys boys weren't ready and Valleys jumped us," he said.
"It was not until the last quarter when we started to put points on the board, but the game was over by then and it was too late."
Hot conditions tested all players - from the under-6 grade through to the seniors.
"Matt Baker and Justin Fawkes in the centre played well and the whole day was great for the Wallabys club with a big crowd watching the game they love," Collins said.
Collins said coach Norm Horan said that there were a lot of learnings to take away from the match and plenty to work on before the start of the season proper next month.
The presence of Wallabys' product and Australian Jillaroo and Brisbane Broncos star Chelsea Baker inspired the women's team to a win in the earlier game.
Men: Valleys 58 d Wallabys 10; Women: Wallabys d Valleys
U17: Valleys won on forfeit; U15: Valleys d Wallabys; U13: Valleys won on forfeit; U10: Valleys d Wallabys