Harmony Cup 6 – Men’s Team Of The Tournament

Hawaiki Roa Men’s went back to back in Harmony Cup 6, in a competition which had 20 teams.
From Bushrangers to Tonga, teams competed for their heritage and pride in their jersey and the community.

And although there were many players who could be picked in both sides from all the men’s 20 teams and almost 50 games,the votes and opinions have been tallied and would like to present the NRL WA Harmony Cup 6 Men’s team of the tournament.

The Men’s side, is a testament to not just speed and devastating try scorers, but the men who allow the speed men to make it all happen, along with the ability to keep your head when the games are on the line. Only 1 members of this side has made the team before, which goes to show just how strong the competition is, especially to only pick 10 people.

  1. Kameli Nasiroki – Captain – Western Fijians – Fiji
    Quarter finals exit in a heartbreaker from the Fijians, they drew the hardest pool in the tournament and fought extremely hard every step of the way. But their captain epitomizes the way they play. Speed and flair, he wears his heart on his sleeve and doesn’t shirk the hard stuff with his ability to defend both in tight and outwide a true highlight of his play. Always urging and pushing his team mates, Meli is a great first edition to this team, and our only player selected from a non-semi final side. A strong captain.
  2. Davey Martin – Taranaki – New Zealand
    A big time player, Martin just seems to always be around when something needs to be done. Whether its a last ditch tackle, a one on one strip with his team needing possession, or a scything run to set up or score a try, Davey seems to always be in the middle of it all. With nothing on his frame, he hits with the best of them and led this new Taranaki team with every ounce of deception and nous that he possibly could, only for them to just fall short. A true baller.
  3. Gethin Thomas – Bushrangers – Aussies
    The tearaway second rower for the Bushrangers was at his busiest this weekend with some devastating performances for the men in yellow and green. A constant presence on and off the ball, Thomas is deceptively fast and seemed to have a knack for breaking the first tackle every time he touched the ball this weekend. Always armed with his cheeky grin, he welcomed the physical contact in the middle of the field just as readily as mixing it with the smaller quicker players on the edge.
  4. Delane Edwards – Hawaiki Roa – Maori – 3rd Selection
    When its up, go back and watch the semi finals and grand final for Hawaiki Roa. Edwards has still got it. While not the youngest buck in the yard anymore, or the quickest, in between the ears he is still far and above one of the best tactical minds in rugby league in Western Australia. Masterminding a 4th Harmony Cup win, his tactical thinking and calm presence were instrumental to the Roa’s title, but as he grows older another part of his game is coming to the fore. Defensively, whether its vocally or one on one, Edwards is a crucial piece of any team he plays in.
  5. Travis Haney – Bushrangers – Aussies
    In 9 a side rugby league, the game does benefit players who have a plethora of speed. And Haney has it in bucketloads. While he isn’t going to setup a team mate for a brilliant run away, his ability to just take the game away from an opposition by himself was second to none on the weekend, and his heroics particularly against the Fijians in their contests was the main reason the Bushrangers featured so heavily again this editions. Fast. Powerful. And with footwork for days, the American just keeps getting better.
  6. Koby Rafferty – Perth Indigenous – Indigenous
    The little known hooker from North Beach wasn’t one of the names that jumped off the sheet when people were looking through teams before the Harmony Cup started. But they won’t be ignoring him any more. A breakout tournament for the young star, he was in everything for the Indigenous side, running and passing with new found confidence, as his team mates around him gave him the freedom to play the way he was born to play. A rugged defender, he didn’t shirk the tough stuff in the middle of the field. Beating out some of his higher profile team mates Jaylen “Skinny” Grey and Kade McDonald, Rafferty is the bolter in the side.
  7. Taiapa Graham – Hawaiki Roa – Maori
    What a carnival from the bulldozing backrower. Graham would have been close to the leading tackle breaker in the tournament, making people look like broken toothpicks as he had his way with many defences. Incredibly strong, when you add in his quick acceleration and speed over a short distance, he is very hard to handle and actually thrives on the competitive and physical nature of the middle of the field. Thriving on the confrontation, he deserves his spot.
  8. Kurtis Rowe – Taranaki – New Zealand
    A big name recruit for the Taranaki side this week, the class was evident with Rowe’s first touch of the ball on Friday night that he was going to do something special. And his in and away in the final to setup the first try was simple to watching, but pure class in its execution. Faster than he looks with great acceleration, Kurtis greatest ability is to make everyone around him look better, and he did that all weekend for his proud Taranaki team mates. Coming up with some serious clutch plays, along with Martin, he really led this rag tag bunch of guys from the West Coast of NZ.
  9. Tuakana Rangihaeata – Hawaiki Roa – Maori
    There were a lot of players worthy of this last spot. But it goes to the emphatic playmaker from Hawaiki Roa. Quicker, stronger and more powerful than he looks, it is his incredible bravery that sets him apart. Never afraid to put his body on the line for a tackle or a challenge at the ball, “Tua” wears his heart on his sleeve and deserves all the accolades that come his way. A mini “Delane Edwards” his leadership qualities in a team full of great leaders, which includes Edwards and the crafty Blake Hignett, are extremely apparent, and he deserves a spot in this team of the tournament.

Coach – Brian Burns – Perth Indigenous – Indigenous
Yep they had some really good players, and I think you’ll agree that when firing on all cylinders the Perth Indigenous side was one of the most devastating teams to watch. And bringing all these personalities and strong players to work cohesively together is always a tough ask. And Brian, with the help of Mitch Whalan and father David, got this Indigenous side together and really rolling towards finally capturing their first title. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be as they were shut down by a plucky Taranaki team in their semi final, but I dare say they will be back for another title in Harmony Cup 7 in 2023.

Congratulations to all the above, but again this list could have had 200 players on it. Well done to all players over the weekend, and we hope to see you back in Harmony Cup 7.

Men’s Harmony Cup 6 Team Of Tournament
Name Team
1 Kameli Nasiroki (C) Western Fijians
2 Davey Martin Taranaki
3 Gethin Thomas Bushrangers
4 Delane Edwards Hawaiki Roa
5 Travis Haney Bushrangers
6 Koby Rafferty Indigenous
7 Taiapa Graham Hawaiki Roa
8 Kurtis Rowe Taranaki
9 Tuakana Rangihaeata Hawaiki Roa
C Brian Burns Indigenous