ORIGIN may be upon us but there’s also a big game coming up next week in Hawaii with the United States to take on Samoa.
After months of planning, the fixture finally got the green light last week. The clash is being held on June 1 to mark Samoan independence day.
Aloha Stadium, located in central Ohahu and the largest outdoor arena in the islands, is the venue for the big game. It hosts the NFL pro bowl game each year.
Former Samoan rugby union player Keikiokalani Misipeka-Kelemete, now with the Tomahawks, told a Hawaiian website: “The game comes so naturally to us and the physicality of the game is something we feed and thrive off of.
“The game continues to grow in the US sports industry. The fans love to watch hard nose physical sports. I believe rugby provides that type of intensity the US fan base wants to see.”
Disappointingly, the NFL has decided to finance a rugby union competition in the US. It should have been us, I tell you!
THE USARL Nines has been run and won, with Auckland Police taking the trophy for the third consecutive year.
Known as the “Fencibles”, the cops beat Philadelphia Fight 26 0 in the final. The Fight had an extra time win over Aussies the New England Echidnas, 16-12, to qualify for the decider.
Former NRL star Nathan Blacklock hobbled through the semifinal due to injury. A US under 23s side also took part in the Philadelphia tournament.
THE EUROPEAN Shield is also off and running and at Makis Stadium in Belgrade, Serbia have proven too strong for Germany, winning 46-10.
The star for the Serbs was Dorcol lock Stefan Nedeljković, who scored a hat-trick. It was only 18-10 to the locals at halftime but superior fitness kicked in during the second.
Serb winger Radovan Tajsić ran 100 metres for one try, after a team-mate fielded a kick in his own in-goal.
Meanwhile, the Ukraine is now a full member for the RLEF.
Filed for: RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK