The Dunghutti Broncos have made history by winning the inaugural East Coast Tribal League grand final after defeating the Gumbaynggirr Wall Street Warriors 42-22.
The impressive victory followed the Wall Street Warriors women's team clinching a similar milestone after defeating the Ngaku Warriors Angels 18-4.
The grand finals were played on Saturday (October 22) as part of a full program of rugby league games, featuring Aboriginal tribes from Coffs Harbour to Taree.
The 12-week competition initially went ahead earlier in the year, but the organisers were forced to postpone the grand final due to wet weather.
While the recent wet weather looked to put the grand final in doubt once again, East Coast Tribal League co-founder and secretary said it was a "huge relief to see it all finally go ahead".
"It was pouring down on Friday, which made us a bit nervous," he said. "In the end, we just had a lot of things that were already locked in, so it was in everyone's best interest for the event to go ahead."
Fernando said the grand finals were a great opportunity to showcase the excellence of Rugby League in Aboriginal communities across the Mid North Coast Region.
"The purpose of the whole event was to also highlight mental health in sport, so it was fitting to hold the grand finals during mental health month," he said.
Fernando said he was impressed with the talent showcased in both the women's and men's grand finals.
"It was a tight contest between Dunghutti and Gumbaynggirr, but towards the end Dunghutti just ran away with it and started to dominate every aspect of the game.
"The women were amazing to watch, there was a lot of skill shown in the game, and it was great to see them give their all."
Fernando said the conclusion of the competition has made everyone eager for its return in January next year.
"We had some very positive feedback on the day, everyone is really keen to see the competition back next year.
"We're hoping to hold it in January next year, but it will just depend on the weather again, I guess."
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