THEY came from the smallest club, travelled the greatest distance and made a big impact on Queensland's biggest junior league carnival.
The 10-year-olds from the Biloela Junior Rugby League Club who competed in the annual Laura Spina rugby league carnival certainly did their club proud.
Played in the shadows of the Cowboys Dairy Farmers stadium, the Panther Cubs won five of their six games to finish equal first in their pool.
The 15 players missed out on advancing into the quarter-finals when they finished two tries behind Burdekin Roosters on a countback.
Sixty-three teams from around north and central Queensland competed in the two-day carnival.
The highlight was meeting Cowboys stars Jonathan Thurston, Brent Tate and Matt Bowen before watching them crush the Canberra Raiders in an NRL match.
Coach Wes Hepner said he was extremely proud of the way the boys played and the spirit in which they represented the club.
"The boys have been playing together for several years and they are a good bunch of kids and have been a force in the Gladstone comp.
"The Townsville carnival gave them a chance to test themselves against the best teams in north and central Queensland and they proved they are more than competitive."
Over the two days they defeated Walkerston Wanderers 16-8, played Mareeba Gladiators and lost on count back after scores were locked at 8-8; defeated Burdekin Roosters on countback after scores were locked at nil-all and defeated Townsville Southern Suburbs 20-4, Emerald Brothers 20-8 and Rockhampton Brothers 16-0.
Hepner said the team gained valuable experience.
"The trip would not have been possible without all the hard work and support of several parents and sponsors CFMEU, AMWU and All Pump Repairs."
Hepner said the boys were now looking forward to continuing their good form in the Gladstone Junior Rugby League competition.