June 11, 2015 (HONOLULU, HAWAII) – Grand Pacific Events in conjunction with ESPN 1420 AM is pleased to announce the 5th Annual Ohana Cup Rugby League Festival. Called the Lavalava Festival, it will take place at Aloha Stadium on Saturday, July 18, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. The Pacific Rugby League Test Match will feature international rugby league powerhouse Mate Ma’a Tonga versus arch rival Toa Samoa.
Following the success of last year’s inaugural Lavalava Rugby League Festival, this year’s festivities feature more than six (6) hours of matches and entertainment, culminating with the RLIF sanctioned Test Match game between Mate Ma’a Tonga and Toa Samoa.
“Rugby is the fastest growing sport in the United States and the popularity is surging with both the youth and adult leagues in Hawaii,” said Kelly McGill, former USA Tomahawk Rugby League player, assistant coach and now President of Grand Pacific Events. “The excitement level for this matchup is through the roof and the timing is perfect as we celebrate 50 years of rugby in Hawaii this year and the debut of rugby as an Olympic sport in 2016.”
The gates at Aloha Stadium open at 2 p.m. with a Hawaii Youth Rugby game to start at 3:30 p.m. followed by an adult league all-star matchup featuring the City Chiefs vs. Country Kings at 4:45 p.m. There will also be entertainment, food vendors and a meet and greet with the players all leading up to the 7:30 p.m. start of Mate Ma’a Tonga vs. Toa Samoa game.
If you are unable to make it down to Aloha Stadium ESPN 1420 AM will broadcast the event live as well as streaming via their website at www.espn1420am.com. The play-by-play action will be done by Ben Dobbin, the voice of rugby league radio in Australia, with color commentary being handled by former rugby league superstar Wendell Sailor.
Tickets for the game go on sale at the Aloha Stadium box office beginning July 6, 2015. Ticket prices are as follows: Adults – $20, Military (with ID) – $15, and Keiki (under 12 years old) – $10. Tickets will also be available at most Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) offices on military bases across the island
Proceeds from this year’s event will go directly back towards to the Hawaii Youth Rugby (HYR) League. The money will be invested in equipment, training, education and safety for all youth participating in organized rugby across the state.