The 2016 competition runners up thumped Tupapa Panthers 32-2 in the feature match of the round at Nukupure Park in Muri on Saturday.
The side ran rampant against a determined Panthers who were unable to fight back despite creating some chances in the match, played under slippery conditions.
Sea Eagles were a class of their own, dominating play and creating quick opportunities to pile up points in the much-anticipated premier match of the round.
Keen to go a step further from their last year’s finish, the side were determined from the start and maintained the composure throughout to come away with the big win.
Earlier in the day, their reserve side defeated the Panthers 26-12.
In the other premier clash on Saturday, Takuvaine Warriors edged out Arorangi Bears 23-22 at Raemaru Park.
The tit-for-tat battle saw both teams going hard against each other, but the Warriors managed to survive the torrid battle with a one-point win.
On Friday, Titikaveka Bulls opened the 2017 season with a thumping 56-10 win against Aitutaki Sharks.
In the other reserves matches, Avatiu Nikao Eels hammered the Bulls 70-4, while in the under-19 clash Panthers beat Eels 34-12.
Cook Islands Rugby League official John Whitta said there had been some exciting matches in round one.
He said while there were few surprises, it was a good start to this year’s rugby league season.
“The Arorangi versus Takuvaine match was a hard-fought battle. The game could have gone either way,” Whitta said.
“Normally the Sharks start their season very strong, but I hear they are in a rebuilding phase and maybe that’s reflected in their loss against the Bulls.”
Whitta said clubs were still struggling with the numbers for their reserve and age group teams, which he hopes will be finalised by this week.