In a week where local Victorian Sua Fa’alago impressed on the international stage for Samoa, rugby league in Victoria also showcased its diversity and talent, with the inaugural Harmony Cup taking place in Broadmeadows.
Hosted by NRL Victoria, the weekend-long tournament saw nine communities represented across Under 16’s, Under 18’s and Senior Men’s and Women’s age groups.
Players from a wide range of backgrounds got the chance to represent their heritage, Australia, New Zealand Maori, Tonga, Samoa, Indigenous Australia, Great Britain, Fiji, Niue, and Cook Islands all having teams across the weekend.
One of the marquee events in the local Victorian rugby league calendar, non-stop rugby league action was played across the two-days in what was a celebration of diversity and local talent.
Thousands of onlookers made their way to Seabrook Reserve to witness a memorable opening ceremony as well as pulsating pre-game performances before each match.
In the senior bracket, the Men’s Final came to a pulsating end, Niue edging out NZ Māori in an entertaining final while NZ Māori were crowned champions of the Women’s tournament, defeating Cook Islands 8-4 in the big dance.
Cook Islands were also awarded the Spirit of Harmony Award, voted on by all other communities competing in the tournament, rewarding the community that best conducts themselves both on and off the field.