INDEPENDENT NEWS

Internat'l Rugby League Showdown Live on Maori TV

Published: Fri 14 Oct 2005 03:20 PM


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Maori Television commentators for the NZ MAORI V COOK ISLANDS RUGBY LEAGUE tri-series: (from left to right) Dale Husband, Richie Barnett and Te Arahi Maipi.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
International Rugby League Showdown Live on Maori Television
Maori Television will cement its place in broadcasting history when NZ MAORI VS COOK ISLANDS RUGBY LEAGUE action goes live to air both in New Zealand and the South Pacific this Sunday October 16 from 2.00 PM to 4.00 PM.
The final game in the channel’s English language coverage of three tests will be presented from Hastings by former Kiwi rugby league captain Richie Barnett, television and radio broadcaster Dale Husband, and Maori Television’s own sports reporter Te Arahi Maipi.
The first and final fixtures are broadcast live to the Cook Islands – the first time the tiny Pacific nation has televised a live international sporting event featuring a Cook Islands side.
The opening game in Tokoroa last Saturday (October 8) was a thrilling tie (26-26) between the NZ Maori side coached by former Kiwi Tawera Nikau and the Cook Islands team led by Kevin Iro. The second game in Gisborne on Wednesday (October 12) was a convincing win for NZ Maori (30-14) which means the Cook Islands must take out this Sunday’s game to draw the series.
Maori Television’s coverage is supported by the Cook Islands Tourism Corporation which is campaigning to build greater awareness of the destination through sports tourism. The corporation’s chief executive, Chris Wong, says the test series has drawn much interest from league fans both in New Zealand and at home.
“We are proud to be associated with rugby league and Maori Television in this initiative which will help raise the profile of Cook Islanders in sport and further build awareness of our country as a tourism destination,” Mr Wong says. “It’s also pleasing to have Kevin Iro give his skills and talent back to the game and to see him lead the Cook Islands campaign against his ex-team mate Tawera Nikau.”
The Cook Islands’ national rugby league team has been playing internationally since 1988 when they were defeated by the NZ Maori team 70 -10. The teams met each other six more times on the field with the Cook Islanders beating the NZ Maori team twice.
Commentators Richie Barnett and Dale Husband say both teams are evenly matched with players from New Zealand, Australia and England turning out for their respective sides at short notice.
“It is cultural pride at stake so every hit counts,” Dale Husband says. “The Cook Islands were riding high after the first game but are now feeling quite dejected so they’re sure to come out firing this Sunday. I don’t want to call who’s going to win so all I can say is – it’s going to be going on!”
Join the action on Maori Television with the final game in the NZ MAORI VS COOK ISLANDS RUGBY LEAGUE test series from Nelson Park in Hastings this Sunday October 16 from 2.00 PM to 4.00 PM.
ENDS

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