League players will take time out on Monday to pay homage to local league character the late Navy Epati in the challenge shield finals that remember the league administrator.
Monday’s shield challenge matches will kick off at 12pm at the BCI Stadium with the junior division, before the senior players take to the field.
Last Thursday club premier men’s teams hit the field for the first game of round two of games for the season, with some surprising results registered.
Torrential rain added to the Aitutaki Sharks’ feeding frenzy on Thursday when they savaged the visiting Arorangi Bears 32-10.
At the Vaipae field, Aitutaki enua fans were treated to a try-scoring fiesta by their home team who played a disciplined game to exact their revenge on the Bears.
In their first round match the Bears snuck a win in a game that was dominated by the Sharks.
The win for the Sharks kicks off their second round campaign in positive fashion, but they have a lot of work ahead of them if they have a chance of making the top four playoffs.
For the Bears, it’s back to the drawing board with ill-discipline sure to be an area where they will be looking to improve.
Meanwhile, back on Rarotonga, the Tupapa Panthers are celebrating success this long weekend after holding off a charged-up Ngatangiia Sea Eagles on Thursday to win 20-12.
The Panthers showed their class early in the game with a superb solo effort try by Panthers mastermind Turori Matutu steadying their ship.
However the fired-up Sea Eagles were not to be outdone, with grit and determination getting the side over the line to lock the scores up at 10-all at the halftime break.
The Panthers were first on the scoreboard in the second half and with the clock ticking down and ball possession hard to keep on a soggy Victoria Park field, the Sea Eagles opted to take a penalty kick to close in on the Panthers, who had a narrow 14-12 lead heading into the final quarter of the match.
It was an intense quarter with a number of flare-ups, but it was the Panthers who managed to keep cool heads to outplay the Sea Eagles, with a strong corner try by Eddie Marama leading the way for the Panthers’ final charge to win the intense show- down 20-12.
At Teimurimotia Park, a strong first half performance by the Takuvaine Warriors fired the Titikaveka Bulldogs into action in a tightly battled contest.
With the scores locked at 12-all at the halftime break, a no-nonsense chat was what the Bulldogs needed to be kicked into action.
Despite a tenacious effort by the young Warriors pack, it was the talent-packed Bulldogs team who gave their fans a reason to cheer with a final 52-12 romping of the Warriors.
This Monday league teams will turn their attention to the Navy Epati memorial challenge finals, set to take place at the BCI Stadium starting at 12pm.
Entry fees are adults $5 and $2 for students 12 and under.
Navy Epati challenge shield grand finals draw – 12pm under 12 Sea Eagles vs Bears, 12.45pm under 14 Bulldogs vs Bears, 1.30pm under 16 Eels vs Bears, 2.30pm under 19 Eels vs Panthers, 3.30pm Sea Eagles vs Bulldogs, 5pm premier Panthers vs Bears.