- KKO on TV (ch 34/144): Highlights from Friday and Saturday on at 6PM both days. Live broadcast from Dubbo all day Sunday and Monday.
- KKO Online (nitv.org.au): Rolling score updates, photos and social media across the weekend. Live stream of the broadcast (international access) on Sunday and Monday. Finals highlights and trylights on Monday.
- Murri Carnival on TV and online: Finals highlights and trylights online on Sunday. Full games on TV Sundays Oct 18-Nov 15.
While thousands will flock to Dubbo to partake in the glory, the guts and the glamour of the annual Koori Knockout over the October long weekend, many more will catch the action from the comfort of their lounge room.
Here are our top 10 tips to help you navigate the 2015 event from your armchair.
1. Block out key TV-viewing times in your diary
Obsessed with the Koori Knockout? So are we. That’s why NITV has gone to great lengths to ensure you receive the latest event and score news on your TV and mobile device so you don’t need to worry about missing a second of the action.
NITV News has temporarily moved to Dubbo and set up camp to broadcast live from the road and the Koori Knockout event. Tune into NITV at 5.30pm from Tuesday to Thursday for a series of special local stories showcasing the heart of the Dubbo community.
The sporting action will kick off with rolling coverage from the Knockout Gala Draw on Wednesday 30 September at 9pm. So keep your television fixed on NITV to watch team match-ups and expert analysis, alongside celebrity guests and entertainers.
We’ll also be providing rolling score updates from all the juniors', men’s and women’s matches throughout the knockout so keep an eye out online.
The NITV coverage will continue well into the long weekend on Friday 3 and Saturday 3 October, with feature daily wrap-ups at 6pm.
And, best of all, NITV online will live stream (according to Australian Eastern Standard Time) the grand final clashes on Sunday 4 and Monday 5 October, from 9am to 5pm.
2. Meet the 2015 host club
The 2015 knockout will be held in Dubbo, around three hours and 277 kilometres away from the home of host club, Walgett Aboriginal Connection (W.A.C).
So it’s a must to give Walgett some well-deserved Koori Knockout glory in acknowledgement of their champion and host status.
Here are some fast facts about the club of the moment, W.A.C:
- The team triumphed over the Newcastle Yowies in the final of the 2014 Knockout at Raymond Terrace with a 28-16 win.
- The side went on to win back-to-back titles in the 2010 knockout in Woy Woy.
- The W.A.C proudly hosted the 2011 NSW Aboriginal Knockout in Bathurst NSW. Apart from the weather the event was a great success and widely considered as the benchmark for how to host and organise a successful Koori Knockout Carnival.
- W.A.C has announced online it will continue to travel to the annual NSW Aboriginal Knockout each and every year and support the host team.
- The club was started by Matthew Rose, Mark deWeerd, and the players of the winning 2009 NSW Aboriginal knockout team (hosted by Narwan Eels Armidale).
3. Get into the carnival spirit
So your love of footy outranks your on-field performance. But that’s just because you’re in it for the love of the game rather than precision or skill, right? Don’t feel too bad. Even the experts get it wrong…sometimes.
Nurse your ego with this bloopers video of the legendary Rose family, choking as they try to say their lines on-camera. The boys may descend from the Rugby Gods but it’s nice to know that beyond their NRL magical powers, they are still human.
Just for laughs, NITV will also post a special joint message from Indigenous comedian, Andy Saunders, and footy mad uncle, Frank Jackson, online. Keep abreast of social media and on this site for more details.
And if stunning images, documentary photography and social commentary is more your thing, make sure you visit NITV online to see the Koori Knockout 2015 photography series from Indigenous and sports photographer, Barbara McGrady.
Aunty Barb’s photos regularly appear in the National Indigenous Times and her work continues to receive national acclaim. But this time around, we will be showcasing her work on NITV online, featuring a different 'moment' from the knockout each day.
4. Brush up your KK ‘barbie talk’
Footy finals are about more than just the end score: they are a social event unto themselves.
Shrouded in finals fever and surrounded by dear mates and family, most of us will spend the long weekend tucking into a barbeque feast and engaging in pre-match talk with our beverage of choice in-hand.
Here are a few Koori Knockout talking points to get the conversation going at that barbie:
- The traditional title of the event is the NSW Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout, although it’s nicknamed ‘the Koori Knockout’.
- Held annually since 1970, it grew out of a longstanding tradition among Sydney’s Aboriginal community of playing and watching rugby league, starting in the 1930s with the formation of the Redfern All Blacks and the La Perouse Panthers.
- The idea for the knockout out was first posed in a chat between six blokes at the Clifton Hotel.
- The first Koori Knockout match was held in 1970 at the Camdenville Oval in Erskineville, with the Sydney teams training at Redfern and Alexandria Ovals.
- Until 1980, most of the Koori Knockout games were held in Sydney. But since then, the majority of the matches have been held in towns all over NSW, including Dubbo, Armidale, Moree, Walgett, Bourke and Nambucca Heads.
- Dubbo was one of four cities vying for the right to host this year’s knockout – the others being Bathurst, Wagga and Albury.
- Regarded as one of the biggest sports gatherings of Indigenous people in the world, the Koori Knockout features over 100 teams, across the men’s, women’s and junior tournament, competing for the top prize.
5. Going #social
Follow all the Koori Knockout hype and stay 'in the know' by sticking close to social media this week.
6. Get your Munginidi fix
Mungindi Moments are back this year with more fun and laughter from Steve Mungindi.
Mungindi will be going straight to online on the Sunday. So keep your phone, tablet and laptop with you to follow the Mungindi Moments delivered straight from the Knockout to NITV online.
7. Know your KK match gossip
Here's some more intellectual banter to throw around during the advert breaks.
- The big controversy last year was when the Toomelah Tigers protested against the All Blacks on the Sunday, claiming forward Michael Lingwood was not Indigenous and therefore not eligible to compete.
The Newcastle Herald reported that the protest was dismissed but it forced the delay of the All Blacks’ quarter-final against North-West Warriors to Monday morning.
- The 2015 pre-match angst started in September this year, when the W.A.C was advised that the Country Rugby League Board (CRL) was not prepared to allow Aboriginal players to serve their suspensions as part of the 2015 NSW Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout.
“While we don’t believe in supporting foul play, we do believe that players should not be totally disadvantaged for minor offences."
W.A.C has been in discussions with the CRL since May this year in an attempt to overcome a real sticking point for many teams and players involved in the Knockout.
“It is extremely disappointing that we haven’t been able to resolve this issue,” said W.A.C spokesperson Geoff Simpson.
“…While we don’t believe in supporting foul play, we do believe that players should not be totally disadvantaged for minor offences. It is important that we have this resolved for future Knockouts and will look to make representation to the Australian Rugby League Indigenous Council in due course with a view to having it raised with the Australian Rugby League Commission.” Mr Simpson indicated.
This issue being left unresolved had delayed the release of the 2015 NSW Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout Rules & Regulations.
8. Skill up on the rules
Now that the rules are out, it’s time to brush up on them.
All knockout competitions in 2015 will also be officiated using Rugby League Laws of the Game 2015 edition, the National Play Safe Code and the National Code of Conduct. However, there is a whole raft of exceptions to be used specifically for the knockout.
Find out what’s what, what’s right and what’s wrong before screaming at your favourite player on the television during your armchair coaching session.
9. Pick a winner
There’s no doubt that you’ll be supporting your home team with eternal ‘you little beauty’ cheers from your lounge room to push them to victory. But, on the off chance that they don’t win, which team will you root for?
Last year, Newcastle made it to the final but came out on the other side as the underdog, failing to claim a win against Walgett. So Newcastle is definitely one to watch make a finals comeback in 2015.
Another Hunter side, Mindaribba, won the game in 2011. How will they fare this year?
History-buffs could choose to back the oldest Aboriginal Rugby League Football Club in the country: the Redfern All Blacks (commonly referred to as 'RABS' or Redfern). Officially founded in 1944, this team has brought home a number of wins in each decade since the knockout’s inception in 1970. The women’s Redfern All Blacks also claimed victory last year in the women’s final over the Mindaribba Sisters, 22-18.
10. Plan for the game to visit your home
As per Koori Knockout tradition, the winning team will play host at next year’s event.
According to Dubbo City Council, hosting the Koori Knockout brings with it a raft of economic benefits.
It is estimated that in 2015, each visitor will generate an additional $148 per day for the local area. Whether the benefits are calculated over the October long weekend or the entire week leading up to the knockout, the economic reward of hosting the game can reach into the millions.
So who wants the game to come to their hometown in 2015? Better start prepping for a win now.
The 45th NSW Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout, hosted by 2014 winners Walgett Aboriginal Connection, will be held at Caltex Park, Dubbo, from Friday 2 to Monday 5 October.
NITV online will also feature highlights and try-lights from the Queensland Murri Carnival finals on Sunday 4 October and from the NSW Koori Knockout finals on Monday 5 October.