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Gems and Goannas win first footy festival

The First Nations of Australia defeated their Māori rivals in the first Festival of Indigenous Rugby League held on February 10 at Redfern Oval.

The Wāhine Māori (women’s team) fell 18-0 to the First Nation Gems in a physical match-up, but it was the Gems’ superior ball handling that was the telling factor in the final result.

In the men’s game, NZ Māori started well against the Goannas before succumbing 22-16.

Krystal Hurst, a proud Worimi woman who designed the Goannas jersey said: “It’s just a really good time when people get together and you get to see family and watch good games of footy, so I tried to represent that in the artwork. It’s like we’re making the Goanna tracks as well ….”

Goannas coach Laurie Daley wants to see an Indigenous side play in the Pacific Tests or even join them in future Rugby League World Cups.

In the interstate challenge, the Newcastle Yowies recorded an entertaining 38-26 win over the Dhadhin Geai Warriors.

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