MATES: Sophie Beetson and Paige Mills are part of the Cunnamulla team at this week's zone 5 under-43kg rugby league carnival at Platz Oval, Clifton.
MATES: Sophie Beetson and Paige Mills are part of the Cunnamulla team at this week's zone 5 under-43kg rugby league carnival at Platz Oval, Clifton. Gerard Walsh

Another Beetson keen to follow Big Artie into Origin

RUGBY LEAGUE: A cousin of rugby league immortal Arthur Beetson is playing for Cunnamulla in this week's zone 5 under-43kg carnival at Platz Oval, Clifton.

Sophie Beetson is in her fourth season of rugby league and is playing on the wing for Cunnamulla.

A winger, she scored a try in the win against Central Downs yesterday and took the ball downfield 20 metres before another Cunnamulla try.

Sophie said her father Chris Beetson had photos of a forward affectionately known as "Big Artie" right around their home in Tambo.

"I have seen videos of Artie playing rugby league," she said.

This week, the name Arthur Beetson will pop up again as he led the Maroons to a win in the first State of Origin game in 1980.

"He inspires me and I tell my Dad during Origin I want to be like Artie and play Origin for Queensland," she said.

"Chelsea Baker is my favourite player."

There wasn't women's interstate games when Origin started in 1980 but the women play Origin and for Australia in the modern era.

She said a lot of people asked her if she was related to Artie.

In club footy, Sophie plays for the Augathella Meat Ants.

Paige Mills is the second girl in the Cunnamulla team and plays dummy half.

"This is my second season of league, it is fun playing against the boys," she said.

The under-12 age group is the oldest in which girls and boys can play in the same competition.

When asked about the highlight of the carnival, they said it was having their own room at the carnival and getting away from the boys.

At times down the years, the Cunnamulla team has struggled at under-43kg carnival but this year are mixing it with the best in Southern Queensland.

In the league, the first 16 games were played on Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday will be the athletics carnival and a day free from rugby league. The carnival will resume at 9am Thursday with the first of eight games for the day. The City/Country game at 12.30pm Friday is the last of the carnival.

THURSDAY'S DRAW: 9am Wynnum v Cunnamulla

9.50am Macintrye v Central Downs

10.40am Warwick v South Burnett

11.30am Western Downs v Balonne Barwon

Four afternoon games from 12.30pm.



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