Sharon Tepai: We gave our all, but fell short in the end

Sharon Tepai: We gave our all, but fell short in the end


By Ronald F. Toito’ona

Solomon Islands Women’s Rugby League 9s team has ended their campaign in the Pacific Games 2023 competition, with five straight losses.

The latest was a defeat to Vanuatu this afternoon, in the ranking playoff for the 5th and 6th positions.

Vanuatu claimed the 5th spot, after a 12-4 win over Solomon Islands, at the National Stadium in Honiara.

In an interview with SIBC, Captain of the Women’s Rugby League 9s, Sharon Mahekava Tepai said they have given their all in the competition but it was unlucky for her girls.

“Honestly, we gave our all in this competition but in the end, the results did not come our way.

“We have been working hard in our trainings, with a hope to make a difference in this Pacific Games. Unlucky for us, our plans have failed to succeed,” the 31-year-old from Bellona, Renbel Province said.

An emotional Sharon is being comforted by a relative, after their 12-4 loss to Vanuatu in the Women’s Rugby League 9s 5th and 6th playoff at the National Stadium today.

She added, their defeat is a heartbreaking one for her as a team Captain.

“For me, this is a heartbreaking defeat. We have tried our best as a team but this is how far we can go. I think we can try again next time,” said the emotional Captain.

What even made her emotional was the fact that she was injured and was not able to play in her team’s opening matches.

“I was only able to join my girls in the final matches. I wasn’t happy at all, because I did not have the anticipated game time in this competition.

“Besides, when seeing my girls trailing behind, I felt really sorry for them because I just can’t do a thing to help,” Sharon, who is a school teacher by profession, said.

SIBC understands that Rugby League has no active programs being implemented at the moment in Solomon Islands.

In terms of Sharon’s thoughts on the future of Rugby League in Solomon Islands, she wants to see more Rugby League competitions introduced in the country.

“I think the Solomon Islands Rugby League (SIRL) should start introducing development programs now. This is one of the many ways I see, that is going to help our country, going forward.

“If we have active Leagues or competitions happening around Solomon Islands, we will have a very competitive men’s and women’s team in future competitions,” Sharon stated, with total confidence.

The Captain also revealed that there are a lot of females that have shown interests in Rugby League but were reluctant to show their potentials, unless proper Leagues at introduced.

She further expressed that even though there’s no proper leagues at home, the current squad is a much-improved side from the one that competed in the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa.

Sharon was also part of the squad, when a women’s rugby league tournament was introduced for the first time at the Pacific Games. –ENDS//

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