Sea Eagles survive Eels attack

Monday April 08, 2019 Written by Published in Sports
Ngatangiia Matavera Sea Eagles’ Ben Wemin takes on Avatiu Eels defenders in the feature clash of Raro Cars Rugby League Competition 2019 at Nukupure Park on Saturday. The Sea Eagles won 23-22. 19040637 Ngatangiia Matavera Sea Eagles’ Ben Wemin takes on Avatiu Eels defenders in the feature clash of Raro Cars Rugby League Competition 2019 at Nukupure Park on Saturday. The Sea Eagles won 23-22. 19040637

Nippy Ben Wemin’s field goal in the dying stages of the feature rugby league clash over the weekend saw the Ngatangiia Matavera Sea Eagles maintain their unbeaten run intact in the weekly competition.

 

Tied at 22-all, the Sea Eagles, who made a superb comeback in the match against the Avatiu Eels, went all out looking for the winning try before a brilliant set piece play allowed Wemin some space to line up his attempt.

And the Papua New Guinea import delivered. He calmly slotted the ball in between the sticks and over the crossbar to send the Sea Eagles fans into a frenzy.

The much anticipated match held on Saturday at Nukupure Park did not lack firepower, both on and off the field. It also had its fair share of controversies, including some questionable calls from the match officials.

The Eels took an early lead from a penalty converted by Feleti Iona before the Sea Eagles bounced back and scored a try through lanky Sailosi Nagi to get into the driving seat 4-2.

A brilliant break from an Eels backline player saw the visitors regain the lead at 8-4 but that didn’t last long as the home side scored its second try through Matt Sakai the level the match 8-all.

An infringement from the Sea Eagles handed the Eels another opportunity for a two-pointer which was neatly taken by Iona as they led 10-8.

The Eels ensured they went into the breather with a comfortable lead after Lui Nicholas crossed the whitewash to extend their lead to 16-8.

The Sea Eagles upped their tempo in the second spell, as they kept barging at the Eels defence line. Their relentless effort eventually paid off with a try in the corner as the side cushioned the deficit to 14-16.

However, the Eels had better ideas and a well-structured play driven from their burly forwards pushed them through to the try line as they extended their lead again to 20-14.

A consecutive infringement from Stanley Tuaivi earned him a 10 minute sinbin which the Sea Eagles capitalised on to score their fourth try as they trailed 20-22.

Indiscipline stood out like a sore thumb for the Eels as they gave away another penalty which skipper Daniel Toa converted to get the Sea Eagles to level terms 22-all.

With minutes remaining on the clock, Wemin came with the winning kick to hand the Sea Eagles the 23-22 win.

In the other premier clash, the Arorangi Bears had to come from behind to earn a 22-all draw against the Aitutaki Sharks on Friday.

More pictures on Page 13.

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