Presentation to the champions. Photo: Leeanne Perez

Yarrabah Seahawks hosted the inaugural Gindaja Cup Indigenous Rugby League Carnival at Jones Park on the weekend (November 8-9) with Seahawks Pink taking out the 2014 championship title.

The champions progressed to the grand final after defeating the Woorabinda Warriors in the semi-final, with Djumbunji Bigun defeating Bwgcolman Warriors to make the decider.

The final score in the Gindaja Cup Men's final was:

Seahawks Pink 24 (Menmuny Murgha 2, Ross Maloney, Maipele Morseau, Milton Mossman tries; Brian Murgha 2 goals) def Djumbunji Bigun 18 (Martin Dabah, Jake Webster, Brian Fourmile tries; Coleridge Dabah 2, Jim Fourmile goals)

There were 12 Open Men’s teams competing in the two-day carnival with teams travelling from as far afield as Woorabinda and Palm Island. The program also included a Women’s and Under 12 games.

The popularity of the Indigenous carnivals was evident with more than 1500 fans attending each day of the carnival.

The emphasis was on family with young fans well entertained off the field with a dedicated children’s play area with shade areas, fruit, jumping castles and giant slide.

The event was also a valuable experience for 24 local accredited referees who officiated over the weekend, for some, their first experience at a major carnival.

This weekend’s carnival, follows on from last weekend’s Dan Ropeyarn Memorial Cup at the Yusia Ginau Memorial Oval in Bamaga where the Malu Kiwai took out the 2014 title defeating Bamaga Roos 2 17-14.

In Bamaga, Bobby Nona from the Argun team was awarded Player of the Carnival with Windsor Bowie (Injinoo Crocs) Best Back, Ben Schell (Bamaga Roos 2) Best Forward and Ricky Barba (Malu Kiwai) Best Utility.

Indigenous carnivals are an important part of the rugby league landscape in the Far North with players travelling from as far away as the Northern Territory and New South Wales to play alongside family and friends.

Indigenous carnivals follow a well-defined criteria to ensure all players, staff and match officials are registered, insured and the carnivals operate at a professional level with the support of the QRL.

For further information contact Dave Maiden on 0499 996 621 or email d.maiden@qrl.com.au.

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See a gallery from the Gindaja Cup Indigenous Rugby League Carnival here: Gallery: Gindaja Cup