Knockout blow at rugby league carnival
DUNGHUTTI-Bundjalung United won the $10,000 Lismore Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout Carnival with a hard-fought 30-24 win over Cubawee Connections in the final at Oakes Oval.
Gold Coast Titans NRL centre and Ballina product Brian Kelly played for United and was a handful throughout the competition.
With scores locked at 24-all in the final, it took a determined effort from front-rower Jirra Breckenridge to force his way over and seal the win.
Lock Alwyn Roberts and second-rower Justin Shillingsworth were strong while second-rower Josh Patston was a standout for Cubawee at the two-day carnival.
Cubawee made the final after a 12-8 win over Cabbage Tree Island which was aiming for a third straight title with the likes of halfback Trevor Bolt and front-rower Les Roberts in the side.
Tabulam reached the semi-finals and had some of the best young talent of the weekend with halfback Tahne Robinson and fullback Eddie O'Connor.
Hooker Luke Walker kept himself busy while United proved too strong in a 16-8 win in the semi-final.
"We had a good turnout this year and there were about six strong teams who could have won it,” event organiser Ash Moran said.
"Everything ran smoothly and it's a big credit to everyone involved in the carnival.”
All eyes were on former NRL star Greg Inglis who played with Macksville team Wall Street Warriors.
It was the first time the 32-year-old had been back on a rugby league field since ongoing injuries forced him into early retirement at South Sydney in April.
"It was a big surprise this year and it's really good to get Greg Inglis here,” Moran said.
"Just his presence at the carnival brings some excitement and it's not very often you get a superstar of his status in a local knockout.
"He's taken time out to walk through the crowd and spend time with the kids; we're so lucky to have him involved.
"He might be playing Oztag or touch footy but this would be his first proper hit-out since he retired.
"Wall Street comes from the street name where his team grew up in Macksville; they're pretty well all brothers or related.”
Some of the teams move on to the NSW Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout at Tuggerah on the Central Coast next weekend.