Tuapa ‘King Country’ once again claim their throne as the undefeated rugby league 9s tournament champions

Three village teams battled out in the Niue Rugby League Toa Motu 9s Tournament 2023 last Saturday including Alofi Mako, Tuapa and Avatele. 

Taking home the championship shield and title for the tournament second year in a row was Tuapa leading in a whopping 22 points to 14 against Avatele in the finals. 

Second place went to Avatele and third place went to the Alofi Mako team. 

The tournament in 2022 last year also saw teams from Tuapa and Avatele going up against each other in the finals. Tuapa came out on top on a gruelling 14 points against 13 to Avatele. 

According to Niue Rugby League President Zack Smith, there was only one accidental injury from the tournament. “He’s had his checkup and he’s fine”, says Zack. 

“The game was really tidy, fitness was better, and the development of the young kids has improved a lot.”

Zack says that the only challenge was finding referees or people who were keen to learn. 

A team from Hakupu was also absent in last Saturday’s tournament but Zack welcomes their return in the coming year. 

BCN News also reached out to the Player of the Tournament and Niue High School student Zinedine Ioane to share how he felt about being named player of the day. 

“I would like to thank the Niue Rugby League Toa Motu 9s coordinators for the opportunity accorded for all of us to partake in such a Tournament. Despite the heat and anxiety of competing for the first time, I am humbled and honoured to have played with my TamaVaiAva team and I look forward to playing again next year,” says Zinedine. 

The Niue Rugby League Toa Motu Association is scheduled to hold their second camp for the under 18s on July 15th this month. 

“We encourage everyone who is keen to play and learn or if anyone needs help don’t hesitate to contact me or anyone in the committee. Our main goal is growing the game and developing our kids,” says Zack. 

Dates are still tentative but next competition on the Niue Rugby League calendar will be the North vs South tournament. 

More information can be found on the Niue Rugby League – Toa Motu Facebook page.

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