Festival of World Cups highlights Windsor on world stage

The Australian women's Defence Force rugby league team celebrates beating New Zealand on Friday, July 14. Picture: Steve Christo
The Australian women's Defence Force rugby league team celebrates beating New Zealand on Friday, July 14. Picture: Steve Christo

WINDSOR Leagues Club was shown off on the world stage over the past week and did itself proud, according to the director of an international rugby league tournament.

Windsor was one of a number of clubs to host games from the Festival of Rugby League World Cups – which featured university and defence force representative players from a number of countries.

The tournament concluded at Pepper Stadium on Sunday afternoon, while Windsor hosted matches on three different days.

The Australian Universities team won their final at Penrith on Sunday, while the Fijian Defence Force upset Australia.

On Friday, the Australian Defence women came from behind to topple the New Zealand women 16-12 in the final.

Tournament director Graham McNaney said all the clubs which had hosted matches did a stellar job, and Windsor was not exempt.

“We were very pleased with the festival and all of the venues. They were all good and the clubs were very accommodating for us,” he said.

“The venues were great and the standard of football was very good. I think everyone would have had a great time.”

McNaney said the women’s final – played at Windsor - was one of the highlights of the tournament.

“There was a high quality of football,” he said.

“The women's final was just cracking and then Fiji in the men's Defence beating the Aussies. Fiji played a great brand of footy.”

McNaney said the tournament, which also featured matches at Wentworthville, St Marys and Cabramatta, had shown off a side of Sydney not every international visitor saw.

“Western Sydney is rugby league heartland. All the venues have leagues clubs and run successful junior programs. You couldn't have held it anywhere really,” he said.

“Everyone gets to see the eastern Suburbs and the city and it was nice for these guys to see a different part of town.”

The Rugby League World Cup will be played later this year in Australia.

“It is a big year for rugby league and this tournament was a nice little start for the year,” McNaney said.