One of KARI’s own participated in the International Legends of League game held in Cherbourg, Queensland on the 9th of February. Representing the Cherbourg Hornets, Willie Tonga, alongside other Cherbourg legends, competed against some of the game’s greatest past NRL players.
The Legends of League Tournament approaches different communities throughout the year to host exhibition matches, matching up hometown heroes against former NRL players. The legends of Cherbourg, including our very own Willie Tonga, came together to play in the exhibition match at Jack O’Chin Oval.
Cherbourg produced an eventful day with juniors starting the day at 9am, as well as men’s and women’s teams playing throughout the day, with the main game kicking off at 5pm.
Unfortunately for the Cherbourg Hornets, the Legends of League came away with a 38-34 win. In what was a thrilling match, it was great to see Willie back in action in a town he once called home.
The purpose of these exhibition matches is to highlight and promote the game of rugby league in small, remote towns like Cherbourg. Faced with numerable and challenging social issues, the community put everything aside to come together to celebrate the game.
“Rugby league is really important in communities like Cherbourg, it’s such a small town so when there are social issues it can have a negative impact on community. Rugby League always brings the community together and you could see that on the day. Everyone put aside their differences for the game.” Willie said.
In a town with a population of 1,241, and crowds of over 3,000 turning up to show their support, the day was incredibly successful and enjoyed by all in attendance, proving once again that Rugby League is everyone’s game.