Monday, april 15, 2013 cook Islands News
Rugby news & Hash —PAGE 13 League & netball action —PAGE 14
Feisty Eels fend off Bulldogs Eels 29 vs Bulldogs 28 Sea Eagles 24 vs Bears 6 Panthers 42 vs 18 THE pANTHErS clawed the Sharks on Friday while the Sea Eagles strangled the Bears 24-6 and the Eels rubbed salt into the Bulldogs wounds. It was another intense week of rugby league on the rock with a large crowd gathering at Victoria park to catch the action of the irst premier grade league match of the week between the visiting Sharks and the comeback kings the panthers. The Sharks looked sharp and hungry at the start of the game but it was the panthers that put their foot down to run away with the game 42-18. At Nukupure park a good win by the Sea Eagles reserve grade against the Eels set the foundation for their premier grade team who didn’t mess around on home ground. The Sea Eagles staked their mark as a top four team by outscoring the Bears 24-6 while tension built at Titikaveka ield between the Bulldogs and Eels. The Bulldogs saga of breaching rules and having all their competition point stripped was certainly the talk of league circles at the weekend but that didn’t seem to bother the hosts on game day.
It was a united looking Bulldogs side that stepped out on the ield and a no-nonsense Eels pack that took to the ield with a few new-old faces in Joe Boaza and Isako John. The Eels were straight down to the business of scoring tries with a burrowing drive through Bulldogs defenders by big Bilsy Gukisuva resulting in the side’s early irst try. This was backed up shortly after by a big diving try to raina Wichman in the corner to see the Eels lead 12-0. Titikaveka then showed their own class with a beautiful try by the side’s most dangerous player Longo Leouta to get the Bulldogs on the board and trail the Eels 12-4. The game began to build in intensity as players began to put their bodies on the line. Nippy Bulldogs player James Tofilau surged to two tries for the Bulldogs to take the lead 1612 away from the Eels heading into the half time break. An early penalty for the Bulldogs saw them stretch their lead further to 18-12. Gukisuva, who had been running hard all weekend – stepped up again to run in two more tries
Isako John was a force to be reckoned with when he stepped out in an Avatiu eels jersey to smash his way through the Bulldogs on Saturday. for the Eels – the irst tying the scores at 18-all and the second giving the Eels the lead again 22-18. A brilliant try in the corner to hardworking Eels Matt pierre further increased the Eels lead
to 28-18 before the Bulldogs ran in a try of their own to close the gap on the scoreboard to 28-22. Enter the tall lanky elusive runner that is Sai Nagi who stretched his legs over the try
line to dot down and draw the game 28-all with just minutes left in the game. As the clock ticked down and with ball in hand – the veteran himself Terry piri pulled off one of his specials– a drop goal to se-
cure the win on the hooter for the Eels 29-28. This week the Bears will take on the Eels, the Bulldogs meet the Warriors and the Sea Eagles will play the Sharks. - Matariki Wilson
Netters shine in season opener NETBALL fever hit the Telecom
Sports Arena on Saturday morning where a short and fun opening ceremony was held to oficially start the 2013 netball season. After formalities – grassroots netball heated up when four under 8 netball teams took to the courts receiving the biggest cheers and support from the gathering crowd of spectators and players. Each hard fought goal was received with a standing ovation from the crowd as the Avatiu babes took on Titikaveka while the tenacious Tupapa side faced a classy Ngatangiia team. Avatiu established an early lead in their game before Titikaveka stepped up to take over the lead. But with pure determination the Avatiu babes were back in scoring mode and shooting one last basket on the hooter to draw the game 5-all. Meanwhile, in the Ngatangiia and Tupapa under 8 game – the Ngatangiia girls were just too well-drilled and with sharpshooters in the circle – the Ngatangiia stars ran away with the win 13-1 against Tupapa who despite the loss never gave up trying. Meanwhile, in other games – the Avatiu and Titikaveka
premier grade match played on Friday night was so physical it left spectators wondering if they had gone to a rugby league game. The action was intense and Avatiu were looking hot to take out their first game against Titikaveka and, at one point, led by 8 points. However, it wasn’t to be as the defending champion showed their class to win by one point 41-40. A young Tupapa premier grade side showed plenty of potential but were edged out by Takuvaine 48-46 while another closely fought premier grade match was seen between Arorangi and Ngatangiia -- with Ngatangiia edging ahead to win 35-33. Games continue this Wednes- MW day at the TSA. Titikaveka vs Avatiu (Titikaveka scores irst) – premier 41-40, reserve 38-39, Junior Open 8-41, 15 under 12-18, 12 under 7-13, 10 under 3-7, 8 under 5-5
Takuvaine vs Tupapa (Takuvaine scores irst) – premier 48-46, reserve Takuvaine win by default , Junior Open 11-27, 15 under 8-13, 12 under 2-27, 10 under 1-12, under 8 Ngatangiia 13 vs Tupapa 1, Aror-
angi vs Ngatangiia (Arorangi scores irst) – premier 33-35, reserve Arorangi win by default, 12 under 7-10, 10 under 5-4.
A baby Avatiu eels under 8 player skilfully intercepts a Titikaveka pass during the two teams fantastic game on Saturday morning. 1304145
News, Sports and Opinion from the Cook Islands News for Monday, April 15, 2013