Tamarua looks forward to big challenge

Monday May 29, 2017 Written by Published in League
From left: Papa Pat, Nia Heather, Yvonne Heather, Emanuel Papas, Chris Manu and Rochelle Tamarua. 17052652 From left: Papa Pat, Nia Heather, Yvonne Heather, Emanuel Papas, Chris Manu and Rochelle Tamarua. 17052652

History-making Rochelle Tamarua expects a good, clean rugby league in the premier final at the BCI Stadium in Nikao today.


And if otherwise, she will not hesitate to make some big calls when the defending champions Avatiu Nikao Eels take on the Titikaveka Bulldogs at 4.30pm.

The Auckland-based referee will be the first female to officiate the domestic rugby league premier final in the Cook Islands.

Tamarua is excited about the opportunity.

“It’s a massive challenge coming over here - not only to officiate this final, but also to represent and showcase to our people that a female can actually ref a final dominated by 26 men, the crowd-  which is a big factor - and the coaches,” said the 22-year-old, who is part of the Auckland Rugby League Referees.

“It’s going to be mentally and physically challenging for me but with the support of Taua (Benioni), Cook Islands Rugby League Association and Vonnias, I have no doubt that I will do well.”

Tamarua is no stranger to big games having refereed at the NRL Nines tournament and the Cook Islands Rugby League Nines in 2016 and this year.

Her message to the players is simple.

“My message to them is to make sure they play their game, don’t focus on me, focus on the game. Get their basics right in their attack and defence and everything will fall into place.”

Tamarua will be assisted by experienced local referees Tua Manea and Nga Takaiti.

Meanwhile the Cook Islands Rugby League has received a major boost from Rhodes Building Systems, which is the sponsor for the premier final.

The company provides turn-key services to mining, construction, aid/government and accommodation companies across Australia, South East Asia and the Pacific.

CIRLA vice-president Chris Manu said the company was interested in investing in the Cook Islands through their product but, at the same time, be a part and parcel of the community through sports and other activities.

He said their support was a combination of cash and in-kind sponsorship.

“They are providing the funds to purchase and procure merchandise jerseys and gear for the national team and also the apparel for the upcoming Women’s Rugby League Word Cup,” Manu said.

“Other contribution the Rhodes Systems is providing is the financial support for the construction of a shop at the Punanga Nui Market that will be used to sell merchandise and promote rugby league in the Cook Islands.”

Rhodes Building Systems managing director Emanuel Papas said the company’s effort was to establish a good building industry and support the growth of Cook Islands in general.

He said he was pleased to partner with rugby league here and was looking forward to the final.

“I’m looking forward to seeing grassroots rugby league at its best and a bit of action,” Papas said.

“I hope the best team wins and everyone will shake hands after the game which will hopefully be a good spectacle.”

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