Moree’s Kamilaroi United teams returned home from Raymond Terrace on Friday with a shield in hand and a new sense of pride after competing in the 2017 PCYC NSW Nations of Origin tournament.
The two local teams, split by gender, competed in the round-robin style rugby league 7s tournament from July 11 to 13 against other under 16s from across the state.
It was the fifth year running Moree had been part of the NAIDOC Week event and local PCYC acting manager and Kamilaroi United team coordinator Tayla Macey was impressed.
“The girls team came home with the plate; they played five games before the semi and kept getting better with each game they played,” she said.
Overall the girls team, consisting of 11 local players, won three out of five games before facing Birpai in the shield deciding match.
“The girls won 16-10. It was a close game and Zoe Fleming was awarded man of the match,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Kamilaroi United boys team, consisting of 12 players, were knocked out in the semi-final deciding match by the overall winners on the day.
Zoe Fleming was awarded man of the match.
Macey said the boys all gelled well and impressed the crowd in their fourth game of the day.
“They all had their standout moments on the day and I think they all did really well,” she said.
The Nations of Origin tournament is hosted by PCYC annually during NAIDOC Week and promotes reconciliation, education, cultural identity and sport.
Indigenous and non-indigenous players form teams from different nations and at least 70 per cent of each team must be Aboriginal.
“The tournament is ongoing, people really look forward to being part of it and its always getting bigger and growing as the years go on,” Macey said.
She was proud of the Moree players and said they were proud, well mannered and full of potential.
“We have to say thanks to Aboriginal Legal Strategy for the loan of their bus and Coles for food vouchers,” she said.
The 23 Kamilaroi United players were selected in earlier in March this year and have since had a few training sessions leading up to the 2017 tournament.
Prior to the event Adam Annis-Brown and Hendrick van Dughten coached the boys team, while the girls’ coaches were Kimmalee McInnes and Shirley Swan.