Two of the participating teams, Rolleston Warriors and Burnham Chevaliers, get together after a successful third annual Rolleston Nines. Organisers say the games were played in great spirit and the tournament was a real family day out

Rolleston Nines played in good spirit

by Mike Isle

The Rolleston Nines is fast becoming one of the high points of the Selwyn sporting calendar—certainly in terms of rugby league and helping keep the Nines alive in New Zealand.

Last weekend for the third year the Rolleston Warriors hosted the tournament at their Brookside Park home ground. Each year the crowd numbers continue to grow says the organising committee. It is something of a hold-out for the nines’ version of the code. From 2014 to 2017 the Auckland Nines became a massive attraction, rivalling rugby’s sevens tournament in Wellington. In 2018 the NRL suspended the tournament and at the time stated it was unlikely to return.

However, in Rolleston it is a different story — the fast-moving game is growing in strength at the annual event, and one of the attractions, say organisers, is the alcohol-free day has a real family feel about it.

One of those on the organising committee, Tiffany Day, said that this year eight teams from Christchurch and Selwyn competed in the tournament, and many brought their families along for a fun day out in the Rolleston sun. Moreover, there was plenty on offer she said.

“We played 16 games over the course of the tournament — each of them hard-fought but in good spirits.”

Tiffany Day said the event was a remarkable day and turn out for the Rolleston Warriors Rugby League Club.

“Rolleston Warriors is a relatively new club, having only been formed in 2016. We are very much a family orientated club encouraging all members of the family to get involved for the joy of the sport and to support our children.

“The Rolleston Nines is an example of that, so we really want to thank the volunteers who gave up their time to make the day possible, as well as the players and supporters who came out to grow the game of league.

“It would also not be possible,” she said, “without the sponsorship from local businesses Rosiez Collision Repairs and New World Rolleston.

“We also thank them,” she said.

The Keas from Linwood won the tournament.