SRL honours late player
The Sunraysia Rugby League announced a 2017 representative side on Friday, just weeks after the community was rocked by the death of Chaffey Titans captain and representative player Tupou Taulanga following an accident on the Sturt Highway.
The same accident left two Robinvale Storm stars, Sione Taimani and Solomone Fuavao, in hospital, making the SRL's clash with Albury Wodonga in Melbourne even more special.
NRL Game Development Officer Sunraysia Henry Street said the SRL representative side would visit the duo in hospital and dedicate the clash to them.
"The community down in Robinvale are rugby league orientated... so it is a good distraction for them," he said.
"It is great to have them back out on the park playing footy, getting their mind on other things."
A host of Robinvale players have been picked in the squad as they attempt to beat Albury Wodonga this year following a 30-all draw in 2016.
The team have been rewarded for their dominant efforts on the field, taking out the last three SRL premierships.
Mr Street said the community was all about their rugby league.
"I guess this is just justification for the effort they put in," he said.
"It is good they are self reliant and they will be a successful club for the future.
"They are the model club of the compeition in all honesty."
Defence will be key when the SRL clash with Albury Wodonga on September 2 at AAMI Park before the Melbourne Storm v Canberra Raiders clash in Round 26.
Sunraysia Rep side:
- Kristopher TONNER (Mildura Tigers)
- Carl BRIM (Murray Darling Eels)
- Justin GOW (Mildura Tigers)
- Ofa KEI (Robinvale Storm)
- John TUITUPOU (Chaffey Titans)
- Petero Maria KINI (Mildura Warriors)
- Willis TAUALUPE (Robinvale Storm)
- Dusty LEE (Chaffey Titans)
- John Wesley 'ALE (Robinvale Storm)
- Alifeleti FIFITA (Robinvale Storm)
- Yibouri Antares KIRIRUA- GILL (Mildura Tigers)
- Tevita TAIMANI (Robinvale Storm)
- Setaleki LAUAKI (Chaffey Titans)
- James KIELY (Murray Darling Eels)
- Maro KIRIRUA (Mildura Tigers)
- Latu KAILAHI (Chaffey Titans)
- Vilisiliva ALE (Robinvale Storm)
- Francisco TAIMANI (Robinvale Storm)
- Aaron PELASIO (Mildura Tigers)
- Rakii WOETAI (Mildura Tigers)
- Filipe FIETONU (Robinvale Storm)
- Barty SIMON (Murray Darling Eels)
- Kalaveti NAQUTO (Mildura Warriors)
- Blake KWONG (Mildura Tigers)
Runner- Josh Massey
Trainer- Jake Leslie
Team Manager- Kevin Kirirua- Gill
Assistant Coach- Kevin Kirirua- Gill
Head Coach- Tamatoa Williams
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