Brothers Women’s rugby league team members (from left) Kia Stibbards, Tracey Hodge, Malia Kaufusi, Peta-Marie Roll, Rosita Faupula (front) Emma Collinson, Jenna Edwards, Kady Tinker, Maile Sua and Skye Zielke (back) play the Hervey Bay Seagulls today.
Brothers Women’s rugby league team members (from left) Kia Stibbards, Tracey Hodge, Malia Kaufusi, Peta-Marie Roll, Rosita Faupula (front) Emma Collinson, Jenna Edwards, Kady Tinker, Maile Sua and Skye Zielke (back) play the Hervey Bay Seagulls today. Max Fleet

Malia upholds family passion

EMERGING Brothers’ star Malia Kaufusi, 24, had a high-profile mentor in her corner as she made her first foray on to the football field.

The dominant front-rower had not played a game of rugby league before her debut with Brothers Women’s this season, but has already helped establish a formidable reputation for the team’s forward pack.

“We like to run hard and we play aggressively, but at the end of the day and when the game’s done and dusted, everyone’s still friends,” she said.

The younger sister of Newcastle Knights and former Melbourne Storm premiership prop Antonio Kaufusi is the first female member of her league-mad Bundaberg family to play but hopes she will not be the last.

“All my brothers have been really supportive of me and my younger sisters are starting to take an interest and come to games,” she said.

“Hopefully they’ll catch the bug and get on board in a couple of years.”

Kaufusi grew up watching her brother start his rugby league career in the Brothers’ forward pack and spent most Saturday afternoons cheering on his team.

“I’ve always loved the game and had a passion for the game. I’ve just never played it before,” she said.

“It’s good to finally get out on the oval and find out what it’s all about.”

Kaufusi has leaned on her brother for a few tips and strategies to ensure Brothers emerges as a contender in the inaugural

Bundaberg Women’s Rugby League competition.

“I’ve put a few calls in and he’s given me a few tips, which have been a big help,” she said.

“Hopefully some of his skill and determination can rub off on me.”

Kaufusi will lead the Brothers Women’s charge when the team takes on competition leader Hervey Bay today.

Brothers will be looking to continue a two-game winning streak after defeats of Across The Waves and Wests.

The game starts at the Furnace in Childers at 4pm.



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