It was the battle of the Haven at Laurieton on Saturday, July 8, and the competition leaders the Kendall Blues proved a little too strong for the home side running out winners 48-8.
July 7: Round 12 of the Hastings League season will mean a little more to Laurieton Hotel Stingrays captain-coach Adrian Daley as the club gets ready to host host its inaugural Indigenous round.
The event will be held on Saturday, July 8, when they take on the Kendall Blues. The round will mark the end of NAIDOC week.
NAIDOC Week is held in the first week of July each year and recognises the significance of First Nations people and cultures, with this year's theme being For Our Elders.
Daley, a proud Indigenous man himself, was the one who initially got the ball rolling after approaching the Stingrays committee early in the pre-season about doing an Indigenous Round this year.
"I put it forward to the committee at the start of the year and they all jumped on board to do this round," he said.
Daley said the event aims celebrate and empower the local Aboriginal community through Rugby League.
"It's something that's come a long way in Rugby League in the last five to ten years, a lot of teams are getting involved in an Indigenous round," he said.
"It's good to showcase our culture... the players are happy to represent their family and culture.
"I'm proud and excited that we get to host this round on the weekend."
The team will run out onto the field in a jersey designed by Stingrays member and local, Brian ("Buddy") King.
The jersey represents the Laurieton area and the Stingrays club. According to the Stingrays' Facebook page, "The bottom of the jersey... [shows] the breakwall and the surrounding waters of blues and aquas.
"The light greens represent the bush and at the top are the darker greens that represent North Brother Mountain."
The jersey also depicts meeting circles with "U" shapes that represents the girls and boys teams and a stingray in the middle to represent the club.
Daley said he will be proud to wear the jersey during the game.
"[The Indigenous round] means a lot to me and the club, and I will be proud to wear the jersey on the weekend," Daley said.
"There's a few Indigenous players on our team who I'm sure will be happy to represent their culture and wear the jersey with pride on the weekend."
Daley said the long-term vision is to turn it into an annual fixture.
"Hopefully, we can continue to do this round each year," he said.
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