Cabbage Tree Island and Ngaku after their game on Saturday. Cabbage Tree Island went on to win the $10,000 event.
Cabbage Tree Island and Ngaku after their game on Saturday. Cabbage Tree Island went on to win the $10,000 event. Mitchell Craig

Sandow a thrill for indigenous carnival

FORMER NRL halfback Chris Sandow played for Cubawee Connections at the Lismore Aboriginal rugby league knockout carnival at Crozier Field, Lismore at the weekend.

He is no stranger to knockout rugby league and joins Preston Campbell, Albert Kelly and Edrick Lee to have played at the carnival in recent years.

The Cubawee team also included former Gold Coast, Manly and Parramatta centre Esi Tonga.

"It's always good to have a run and I've been playing at these sort of carnivals since I was 15,” Sandow said.

"I'm from Cherbourg with Esi Tonga who has an in-law in the team and that's how we ended up here.

"We got a lot of young and fast boys in this team so it's all good.”

Sandow played eight years in the NRL and is now playing at Norths Devils in Brisbane after a stint with the Warrington Wolves in the English Super League.

"I really missed home but I did enjoy my time in England,” Sandow said.

Twenty teams took part over two days of competition which also included women's games yesterday.

New team Tommy Gun memorial side was formed in honour of Thomas Randall.

Randall was a talented young fullback from Northern United who died during the season last year.

Tommy Gun came up against an experienced Muli Muli side who were too good in their opening game.

Tommy Gun captain Tyler Williams said: "We got a young side together and wanted to have a run for him.

"We're a mixture of his mates from around here and other family,” Williams said.

"He's sorely missed by everyone and that's the reason why we wanted together and do something for him.

"It was always going to be tough first year in for a young side but we're hoping to get together and make it an annual thing.”

Elsewhere, Ballina junior and current Manly centre Brian Kelly played for Cabbage Tree Island for a second straight year.

Cabbage Tree Island proved too strong for Casino All Blacks in the final.

There was no shortage of talent in the Cabbage Tree Island side with Trevor Bolt, Kayan Davis, Brett Kelly, Clarence Kelly and Nikko Roberts in the backline.

Davis was a standout again and played in a winning team for a second straight year after he was player of the tournament for Tweed Connexions last year.

Cabbage Tree Island also had a handy forward pack, with Roy Bell at hooker, and second-rowers Djaan Jarrett, Alwyn Roberts and Justin Shillingsworth.



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