Team return from rugby tournament with top honours

Sophia ConstantineNorth West Telegraph
Kurrsi 9s Memorial Team.
Camera IconKurrsi 9s Memorial Team. Credit: Landi Bradshaw Photography.

The Pilbara’s best rugby players won top honours at a recent two-day tournament in Kununurra.

It was the first time a team from the Pilbara, the Kurrsi 9s Memorial team, had been nominated to participate in the annual Kununurra 9s Rugby League tournament, on September 23-24.

About 200 players competed in the competition, which featured eight men’s teams and five women’s touch teams.

Competitors travelled from all over the North West, including Broome, Halls Creek, Kununurra, Katherine, and Port Hedland.

Hot and very humid weather conditions were no deterrent for the Kurrsi 9s Memorial team, who were defeated in only one game throughout the whole tournament, against the Katherine Cowboys, going down by a two-point loss 17 -15.

On the second day, Kurrsi 9s Memorial Team showed a lot of character and skills, winning their last pool game against Kununurra Eagles, with a score of 34-4 taking them directly into the grand final, meeting the Katherine Cowboys again.

In a spectacular grand final, the memorial team defeated the Katherine Cowboys with a 28-11 victory and cleaning up at the tournament.

Earlier this year, the Memorial 9s Rugby League Team was formed in recognition and respect for late Mimia Larry Sr, who was well known in the Pilbara for his hard work and dedication in the Pilbara region and community.

The team name “Kurrsi”, which means Hammerhead Shark, is a traditional family totem of the Mimia Larry (Sr) from the Kulkalgal Group of the Torres Strait Islands.

Hedland Touch Associations’ Shakira Levi said the team’s success was a significant and historic event.

“Mimia was a strong, proud Torres Strait Islander Elder who was very proud of his culture and wanted to showcase it to everyone,” she said.

“He had a strong connection and utmost respect for the Traditional Owners of this land, the Kariyarra People,” she said.

Kununurra 9s was first held in 2015 and has since attracted hundreds of rugby fanatics to the town to battle it out.

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