CHAMPIONS: Stanthorpe's Ky Rashleigh (front row, fourth from left) was part of the Darling Downs team that took home the 15 years state championship .
CHAMPIONS: Stanthorpe's Ky Rashleigh (front row, fourth from left) was part of the Darling Downs team that took home the 15 years state championship . Contributed

Rashleigh key in historic win

Rugby League: For the first time in a quarter-century, the Darling Downs side has been crowned 15years state champions.

Led around the park by Stanthorpe boy Ky Rashleigh, the Darling Downs rugby league team was too good for Metropolitan West in the final. The two sides battled it out with standout performances from halfback and goal kicker Brayden Paix, centre Blake Cesari, hooker Shaun Packer, second rower Nathan Kleidon and Rashleigh.

The hard-fought 28-18 victory denied Met West back-to-back titles.

"I'm pretty sure we scored the first try, they scored two, went to half time and we made a good comeback,” Ky said.

It is the first time the Darling Downs has won the championship since 1993.

"It was good fun. They were pretty big boys,” Ky said.

Games were held across four days at the home of the Townsville Blackhawks at Townsville Brothers, with all 12 school sporting regions playing each day.

Ky's team took on North West, Sunshine Coast and Metropolitan North ahead of their grand final showdown.

"They were all pretty decent sides. They were all hard - wasn't easy,” he said.

"I played all four games. I went all right.”

Ky said it was "exciting” and fairly overwhelming to be in a side making history.

"Our coach was pretty impressed. He was so happy to get the win.”

Two Queensland teams were selected from the carnival's players to compete at the national championships in Mackay from July 1-6.

Despite winning the competition, only five Darling Downs players were selected for 40 places. Ky wasn't one of them.

"I think there should have been more,” Ky said.

He believes reputation played a strong part in selection. South Coast players were heavily represented in the two sides, despite finishing eighth.

Next up, Ky will run out for the Gremlins against Collegians this Saturday.