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Taea dominates 2024 Cook Islands Women’s Rugby League Awards

Tuesday 9 July 2024 | Written by Solomone Taukei | Published in League, Sports

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Taea dominates 2024 Cook Islands  Women’s Rugby League Awards
Cook Islands Women’s Rugby League award recipients (from left) Steph Nooroa, patty Taea and June Willie. SOLO TAUKEI/24070818

Former national sprinter Patricia (Patty) Taea dominated the Cook Islands Women’s Rugby League 2024 season, winning three awards including MVP and solidifying her status as the top player.

The Cook Islands Women’s Rugby League ended their 2024 season on a high note, receiving five prestigious awards.

Organised by the Women's Committee, this celebration highlighted the significant role of women in sports, particularly rugby league, a field once dominated by men.

The committee, managed by a woman from each club which includes Julz Westrupp, June Willie, Hinnah Tatuava and Akaiti Purea has seen considerable growth over the years.

The inclusion of the Maine Tueporo programme in this year’s competition marked a significant achievement for women’s rugby league 2024.

The highlight of the night was the presentation of the five prestigious awards, with recipients selected by both the committee and the players for their outstanding performances during the 2024 season.

The award recipients were:

  1. Best Backs: Patrica (Patty) Taea
  2. Best Forward: June Willie
  3. Golden Boot: Steph Nooroa
  4. MVP: Patty Taea
  5. Players’ Player of the Year: Patty Taea

Taea stood out by winning three awards, affirming her status as the top women’s rugby league player of the season.

Her recognition extends beyond her playing skills, as she is also celebrated as one of the top women referees in the Cook Islands, competing alongside men.

In her acceptance speech, Taea expressed her gratitude: “Thank you for your votes. Everyone deserves an award for the amazing display of women’s rugby league this season. At the end of the day, rugby league will always be the winner.”

Frankie Toa, the Cook Islands Rugby League secretary and competitions manager, shared insights on the successful season.

“We’ve integrated women's rugby league with the men’s games, unlike in the past when it was mainly played on Fridays,” Toa said.

“This year, we have seen superb support from the public towards women’s rugby league. A massive thanks to the CIRL for their efforts, as this represents significant development and progress in rugby league as a whole in the Cook Islands.”

The 2024 season has been a reflection of the growing involvement and success of women in rugby league, demonstrating the sport’s evolving dynamics and the increasing recognition and support for female athletes in the Cook Islands.