A football carnival is always going to draw a big and passionate audience no matter where it’s played... but if it’s held on Badu Island in the Torres Strait and billed as Island of Origin, it’s going to be the biggest event for the month in town.
Recently, the Dhadhin Geai Warriors hosted the annual competition at Joe Mairu Memorial Oval on Badu Island.
Almost 200 of the best local Cape and Island rugby league players took part in the weekend carnival.
Six teams competed with preliminary qualifying games held on the Friday and Saturday leading up to knock-out semis on the Sunday morning before an afternoon grand final.
The winning Island of Origin team - Apudthama Brothers - dropped only one game in the tournament, before running out victorious over the Balemore Broncos 38-12 in the final.
Windsor Bowie - still mourning the passing of his father - played some of his best rugby league to lead the Brethren to victory.
The solidly-built outside back was the Northern Peninsula Area side’s player of the tournament according to coach Tetsuo Nakachi.
Balemore Broncos won their round match against Apudthama on Friday, but Brothers bounced back to win the next six straight games.
The Goemu Bau Raiders and Arkai Brothers were knocked out in the semi-finals, while Roxin Eagles and Badu United missed out on the playoffs.
Each team comprised of up to 30 players, with a maximum of 25 players to be used in each game. The weekend tested the fitness of all players with short turnaround times between games and multiple games on each day.
QRL officials praised the players and spectators for their behaviour and sportsmanship.
Island of Origin results
Round games (Friday and Saturday)
Arkai Brothers 26 defeated Badu United 0
Goemu Bau Raiders 34 defeated Roxin Eagles 8
Balemore Broncos 16 defeated Apudthama Brothers 12
Goemu Bau Raiders 18 defeated Badu United 0
Arkai Brothers 12 defeated Balemore Broncos 10
Apudthama Brothers 18 defeated Roxin Eagles 6
Balemore Broncos 24 defeated Badu United 8
Apudthama Brothers 24 defeated Goemu Bau Raiders 6
Roxin Eagles 18 defeated Arkai Brothers 12
Arkai Brothers 16 defeated Goemu Bau Raiders 4
Apudthama Brothers 42 defeated Badu United 6
Balemore Broncos 28 defeated Roxin Eagles 0
Apudthama Brothers 24 defeated Arkai Brothers 10
Roxin Eagles 30 defeated Badu United 6
Balemore Broncos 14 defeated Goemu Bau Raiders 4
Apudthama Brothers 18 defeated Goemu Bau Raiders 4
Balemore Broncos 26 defeated Arkai Brothers 16
Grand final (Sunday)
Apudthama Brothers 38 defeated Balemore Broncos 12