In a first for Australian Rugby League, the Ipswich Jets and Tweed Heads Seagulls will face off at the 2017 Outback Ohana Cup in Honolulu, Hawaii on Friday, October 13.
The event, sanctioned by the Queensland Rugby League, will be historic according to Head of Football Neil Wharton, who confirmed that until now, Intrust Super Cup clubs have faced off only in Australasia.
Both headliners have won the prestigious Super Cup; the Jets in 2015 and the Seagulls in 2007.
Ipswich Jets CEO Jason Cubit said his club was excited and honoured to be a part of the first Intrust Super Cup game to be played outside of Australia or PNG.
“We can’t wait to get over to Hawaii and help spread the gospel that is the great game of rugby league with an elite-level exhibition game between the Jets and Tweed Heads Seagulls.”
Scott Clark, CEO of the Tweed Heads Seagulls, also noted that his team is looking forward to this match.
“From the day this game in Hawaii was announced officially earlier this year, there has been air of excitement in our the club,” he said.
“We are looking forward to showcasing the Queensland Intrust Super Cup competition to a broader audience. Our players are determined to put on a good show and assist in promoting the game of rugby league in Hawaii.”
Consul General Jeff Robinson of the Australian Consulate-General in Honolulu is looking forward to greeting both teams in Honolulu and offered words of welcome for holidaymakers.
“It’s great to see players from Australia join local and international teams in the 2017 Outback Ohana Cup and contributing to the exchange of culture and sportsmanship in the Pacific.
“Australians are passionate about their sport and with more Australians visiting Hawaii than ever before, we hope to see a large number of Aussie supporters come along on the day and experience the excitement of rugby league in the Aloha State,” he said.
The 2017 Outback Ohana Cup will also feature Hawaii Rugby League teams the Chief's Luau Warriors and Chief's Luau Koa facing off against international competitors flying in for this exciting and historic event.
New Zealand will be represented by the Ponsonby Rugby League Club, the oldest and most established rugby league club in the country, and Canada will be represented by the Canadian Travelers.
The daylong celebration of this fast-paced, full-contact sport is as follows:
3pm – Gates open at Kaiser Stadium
4pm – Chief’s Luau Warriors (Hawaii) v Ponsonby Ponies (New Zealand)
6pm – Chief’s Luau Koa (Hawaii) v Canadian Travelers (Canada)
8pm – Ipswich Jets (Australia) v Tweed Head Seagulls (Australia)
11pm – post-match ceremony
All games will take place at Kaiser Stadium, 511 Lunalilo Home Road, in Hawaii Kai.
There will be ample free parking available, with many Hawaii and overseas fans and new-to-the-sport spectators expected to attend.
“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome these elite Australian club teams to Hawaii for the Ohana Cup,” President of the Hawaiian Rugby League Kelly McGill said.
“Honolulu is a perfect place to play the game — year-round great weather, a growing rugby league fan base, and the warm, welcoming aloha spirit.
“We’re expecting thousands of locals, Aussies, Kiwis, and Canadians to attend this exciting matchup.”
Individual tickets are available at ohanacup.com. They are priced as follows:
• General admission – USD $15
• Kids, Students – USD $10
Tickets purchased on game day are:
• General admission: USD $20
• Kids, Students: USD $15
A portion of the Outback Ohana Cup proceeds will benefit the REACH (Resources for Enrichment, Athletics, Culture, and Health) after-school program established by Lt Gov Shan Tsutsui for intermediate school students, and Kaiser High School.
As part of its community support initiatives, rugby league teams will also host training clinics at Kaiser High School, allowing local students to discover the game directly from world-class professional athletes.
For more information, visit www.ohanacup.com.
About the Ohana Cup
The Ohana Cup is hosted by the Hawaiian Rugby League and has been conducted in Hawaii since 2012. The Cup has grown in stature each year and featured seven Rugby League International Federation (RLIF)-sanctioned tests. The 2017 event is sponsored by Outback Steakhouse, Foster's, Hawaii Volcanic Beverages, and Chief's Luau, and is produced by Grand Pacific Events and the Harris Agency.