A whopping 56 teams contested the 2nd Annual Northern Rivers Touch League which was hosted by Murwillumbah Touch Association on the June long weekend. The competition was conducted over two days with day one being the Mixed Open competition and day two offering Men’s & Women’s divisions.
The caliber of talent on show was exceptional with many World Cup stars showing their wares.
Day one saw the Mixed Division played with “Victoria’s Secret” claiming the title in B grade. They were led by the powerful Leah Percy and ably supported by Elias El Charr proved too strong for “The Tequila Slammers”.
The A grade competition was one of real strength with any of the top four teams proving to be worthy NRTL Champions. The four teams working their way to the Semi Finals included Murwillumbah Mavericks who were led by local legends Nathan Jones & Marikki Watego, 2 Fresh powered by the all action Peter Norman, That’s Da Paka packed with superstars Dylan & Emily Hennessey, Drumayne Dayberg-Muir & Jordan Marshall. Finally rounding out the top four were “Watch the Feet” who lived up to their name with Jardi Nean and Arepa Ohia pushing them on.
The Semi Finals were close with 2 Fresh proving too strong for Murwillumbah 7-6 and the favoured That’s Da Paka falling to Watch the Feet in a very entertaining game which needed the drop off to decide the winner. As the sun began to set Watch the Feet rallyed after a slow start to claim the title over a very strong Two Fresh. The player of the final was Ryan Endihapa & Jessica Carey of Watch the Feet.
On Day two the Men’s and Women’s divisions proved to be just as strong with high quality performers littered throughout the competitions. The Orca’s Men’s and Women’s teams proved to be strong and both made their way to the main games. Opposing them would be the That’s Da Paka in the Men’s and Big Girls in the Women’s.
In the Women’s Final, sister power between Emily Hennessy and Sam Hopkin of Orca’s proved to be a continuous threat as the fast feet of Marriki Watego proved to strong for Big Girls who were led admirably by stalwarts Renee Fraser and Teena Mcilveen.
A flying start by That’s Da Paka saw them race to a 4-0 lead over the Orcas in as many minutes through the skill and guile of big names Dylan Hennessey, Drummayne Drayberg-Muir, Peter Norman and Jordan Marshall. With Orca’s staring down the battle of defeat looked to yesterdays heros Nathan Jones and Daniel Rushworth who stepped up for the Orcas with some slick movements and passing to bring them back into the game. This then saw the game move into an arm wrestle and with 7 minutes to go saw the scores at 6-5 to That’s Da Paka. With time running out and the sun moving behind the mountains came the moment when someone needed to step up and as big players do, Dylan Hennessey raised the level and took control of the game to steer his team to and 8-6 victory.
Player of the finals were awarded to superstar couple Dylan and Emily Hennessey whom were both the difference on the day to earn their team the title.
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