The inaugural Malo-Bula Cup rugby sevens competition has helped forge closer ties between the Fijian, Tongan and Australian Armies while featuring some high-quality rugby on April 15.
CAPTION: A player from the Republic of Fiji Military Forces team, left, attempts to intercept Craftsman Shaun Coel during the Malo-Bula Cup at Gallipoli Barracks. Story by Captain Jesse Robilliard. Photo by Private Hamid Farahani.
The Malo-Bula Cup was played at Gallipoli Barracks, Enoggera between the ADF rugby sevens team, a Headquarters 7 Brigade team and teams from the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) and His Majesty’s Armed Forces (HMAF) from Tonga.
As luck would have it, seven members of HMAF from Tonga were at Gallipoli Barracks, Brisbane while thirty-seven members of the RFMF were finishing up Exercise Coral Soldier.
Captain Lemeki Seuvou from the RFMF said he and his fellow Fijians were happy to play in the inaugural cup.
“I played in the first game, I enjoyed it, it was my first time playing rugby sevens, I usually play fifteen a side or Rugby League,” Captain Seuvou said.
Heading into the Malo-Bula Cup, the Fijians had the benefit of four weeks training with 8/9 Battalion to enhance their infantry skills as part of Exercise Coral Soldier.
“Four weeks combined together, now we are playing rugby together the bond is there. We are like brothers now, looking out for each other, protecting each other,” Captain Seuvou said.
“It’s been an honour to play with my fellow brothers in arms.”
The seven members of HMAF were hosted by 2/14 Light Horse Regiment (Queensland Mounted Infantry) before undertaking different All Corps Officer Training Continuum courses.
Tongan contingent commander Captain Taufui Talanoa said the HMAF members were proud to take part in the competition.
“They are happy because they can go out and run and get along with other people, different from our little bubble,” Captain Talanoa said.
Craftsman Shaun Coel, who played in the Headquarters 7 Brigade invitational team, said the day wasn’t about winning but about cultural exchange.
“This one is a really good day because you have got the international sides here and we can witness and celebrate culture as part of the interaction,” he said.