$60,000 tourney kicks off today
The Hawai'i State Rugby Union's first Kemoeatu Brothers Tournament, featuring a purse of more than $60,000, is being held this week at Kapi'olani Park.
The tournament has nine teams, including one from Salt Lake City and another from the Bay Area, and will give $30,000 to the winner. Second place is worth $15,000.
"Rugby is all about camaraderie and friendship," said Ati So'o, a long-time rugby enthusiast. "When you put this kind of money on it, it changes attitudes."
Hawai'i teams come from Hilo, Maui, Wai'anae, Waipahu, Ho-nolulu and two from the Lai'e area.
Games will be played today (1:30 p.m. and 3), tomorrow (9:30 a.m., 11, 1:30 p.m. and 3) and Saturday (11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3). Saturday's games will determine first, third and fifth places.
The tournament is being sponsored by the NFL-playing Kemoeatu brothers — Ma'ake plays for the Carolina Panthers, and Chris plays for the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers.