You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content

It has been a tough two weeks for Griffith Rugby League following the sudden and tragic passing of Peli Lavaka.

Brother to Griffith Black and Whites co-coaches Andrew and Uafu Lavaka, Peli left behind his wife Alexis and three beautiful children Lyla, Noah and Abel.

The Lavaka family is synonymous with Rugby League in Griffith, Group 20, and the Riverina, so it was no surprise that it was an emotional affair when the Griffith Waratahs-Tigers hosted the Black and Whites at Griffith Ex-servicemen’s Club in Round 11 of the Group 20 competition on Sunday.

Both teams wore black armbands, and the two Griffith sides came together in a minute’s silence to remember Lavaka before engaging in a thrilling 80 minutes of Rugby League.

“It was very emotional,” Griffith Waratahs-Tigers coach Moahoni Lelei said.

“There is a couple of us that were really close, and we grew up in the same area.

“I could tell through the week at training, it was emotional. I wasn’t expecting all of us to be playing, but it was good to have everyone there and it made the win a bit more special for everyone.”

The Griffith derby always delivers, and Lelei’s Waratahs-Tigers were able to get one back on the Black and Whites on Sunday, winning 26-22.

“We live in a small town, so it’s a good competitive rivalry,” Lelei said.

“There is never any bad blood, and whoever wins, wins.

“We always go back to the club of whoever’s home game it is that day and have a few drinks and a lot of us are good mates.”

It was an important win for the Griffith club, who now sit in fourth place and only two competition points outside of the Group 20 top three.

“In the game, it was close, and we had a couple of 50/50 calls that could have gone our way, but they didn’t, but we kept playing and got through it,” Lelei said.

“The win was really important. After last week’s loss to Yanco, who hadn’t won a game, it was good to get the win.

“They took that loss on board and came out and played well and got the win.”

Lelei is confident that he has the team that can finish the 2022 Group 20 season strongly, but he admitted that it was a matter of having all of his players on deck at the same time.

“100% we can win it,” Lelei said.

“If we get the boys that we have got registered on the paddock all at the same time, we will be right up there with those top teams.”

The Waratahs-Tigers will hope to take their good form into Round 12 of the Group 20 competition when making the trip to Yenda on Sunday to play the Blueheelers.


Group 20 Round 11 results: Darlington Point-Coleambally def Hay 36-10; Yanco-Wamoon def Tullibigeal-Lake Cargelligo 40-32; Griffith Waratahs-Tigers def Griffith Black and Whites 26-22; Leeton def Yenda 42-8.

Group 20 Round 12 draw: Hay v Yanco-Wamoon; West Wyalong v Leeton; Griffith Black and Whites v Darlington Point-Coleambally; Yenda v Griffith Waratahs-Tigers.

Group 20 ladder: Darlington Point-Coleambally 22, Leeton 18, Griffith Black and Whites 16, Griffith Waratahs-Tigers 14, West Wyalong 14, Yenda 8, Hay 8, Yanco-Wamoon 6, Tullibigeal-Lake Cargelligo 4.


Group 9 Round 10 results: Young def Kangaroos 38-6; Tumut def Albury 18-4; Gundagai def Brothers 58-12.

Group 9 Round 11 draw: Kangaroos v Southcity; Albury v Young; Brothers v Tumut.

Group 9 ladder: Gundagai 19, Young 18, Temora 16, Tumut 12, Albury 11, Kangaroos 8, Brothers 8, Southcity 6,


Proten Cup men’s Round 6 results: Ivanhoe def Goolgowi 22-6; Narrandera def Barellan 38-12; Hillston def Rankin Springs 30-18.

Proten Cup women’s Round 6 results: Hillston def Ivanhoe 12-nil; Narrandera def Ivanhoe 36-nil; Rankin Springs def Hillston 14-nil.

Proten Cup men’s ladder: Ivanhoe 10, Narrandera 8, Rankin Springs 6, Hillston 4, Barellan 4, Goolgowi 4.

Proten Cup women’s ladder: Goolgowi 9, Narrandera 9, Hillston 7, Rankin Springs 5, Ivanhoe 0.

Proten Cup Semi-final draw: Women’s elimination semi-final: Hillston v Rankin Springs; Women’s major semi-final: Goolgowi v Narrandera; Men’s elimination semi-final: Rankin Springs v Hillston; Men’s major semi-final: Ivanhoe v Narrandera.

Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Platinum Partner

Major Partners

View All Partners