THIS year’s Zenadth Kes Cup was hosted by Kaiwalagal Rugby League on Thursday Island and attracted seven Men’s and three Women’s teams who competed over three days of competition (October 17-19).

The carnival is considered a “must do” for many players of Torres Strait Islands heritage, who return to the Straits to play with family and friends. 

The Men’s division was won by Kulpiyam while the Women’s division was taken out by Deddayal Gummaz.

QRL Chairman Peter Betros was one of the spectators who attended the carnival and enjoyed the football on display.

See the Photo Gallery from the tournament here: Gallery Zenadth Kes Cup

Match referees included Rod (Hairy) McCrae who was officiating at his 21st Zenadth Kes Cup and up-and-coming referee, 14 year old George Sailor, a local resident who is currently studying in Cairns and developing his referee skills in local league. George refereed the Women’s grand final at the carnival.

Later this week, the action moves to Alley Park in Gordonvale from October 25-26 for the Gordonvale Indigenous Rugby League Carnival, followed by the Dan Ropeyarn Memorial Cup at the Yusia Ginau Memorial Oval, Bamaga, October 30-31 and November 1.

The Yarrabah Seahawks will then host the Gindaja Indigenous Rugby League Carnival at Jones Park in Cairns on the weekend of November 8-9 with a carnival in Cooktown in late November rounding off the carnival season.

QRL Regional Co-ordinator Dave Maiden acknowledged the amount of work and the professional manner in which the carnivals are run.

“The organisers from these regions are to be commended on the amount of work that goes into planning and running carnivals of this size,” Maiden he said.

“All committees have worked closely with the QRL to have the carnivals sanctioned.

“This ensures all players, referees and volunteers are insured and appropriately accredited referees officiate at the games. QRL staff also assist at the carnivals where required.

“The carnivals are great events for the local communities with high quality football being played.

“All teams contribute to the Indigenous Development Fund which assists with the continued training of coaches, sports trainers and referees in the communities, and we encourage everyone to show their support by attending their local carnival.”

Zenadth Kes Cup – Finals Results

Women’s

Deddeyal Gummaz 22 def Eagles 8*
(*This is the 5th consecutive year the Deddeyal Gummaz have taken out the title.)

Men’s

Kulpiyam 22 (Alex Namai 2, Tim Oberleuter, Timana Tahu tries; Harold Mosby 3 goals) def Kuruwai Warriors 14 (Jonas Pearson, McFarlane Baira, Patock Tamwoy tries; Chastyn Bowen goal)

Award Winners

Women’s Award Winners
Best Rookie: Aggie Solomon (Deddayal Gummaz)
Best Forward: Kema Mairu (Deddayal Gummaz)
Best Back: Tanisha Ahmat (Eagles)
Best Dressed: Bauau Stingers

Men’s Award Winners

Best Rookie: Nathan Nona
Best Forward: Joe Picker (Wagadagam Storm)
Best Back: Robbie Amber (Kuruwai)
Best Dressed: Kuruwai Warriors
Player of the Final: James Livock (Kulpiyam)
Player of the Carnival: Harold Mosby (Kulpiyam)

Sharnie Kim from the ABC was also there to soak up the action – check out her report here: Torres Strait Islanders battle in out in league cup