Sharks hunting for maiden win

Thursday February 16, 2017 Written by Published in League

The Aitutaki Sharks will return to Rarotonga tomorrow in hunt for their maiden win in the 2017 domestic rugby league competition.

The side, which lost its opening two matches to Titikaveka Bulldogs and Arorangi Bears, is set to face an acid test when it takes on defending champions Avatiu Nikao Eels at The Swamp tomorrow.

Eels, after their 38-10 win over Takuvaine Warriors in their opening match last week, will be hoping for another big win to take the lead on the points table.

Cook Islands Rugby League official John Whitta said the Sharks were in for an uphill battle in this week’s round.

“This will be a tough assignment for the Sharks especially since this is Avatiu’s first game at home for the season.

“Avatiu had a difficult first half last week against TKV but they are renowned for their fitness and that will probably be a big factor.”

In the other premier matches to be held on Saturday, Tupapa Panthers will host the Bulldogs in the match of the week while the Sea Eagles will play the Bears at Raemaru Park.

Panthers and Bulldogs both lost to the Sea Eagles and will be hoping to regain momentum with a win this weekend.

The Panthers, who were on a bye last week, will be desperate for their first win of the season at home.

“This is also the Panthers first home game so they will want to make an impression and get the season on track,” Whitta said.

“It will be a tough assignment against Titikaveka, although Titikaveka will want to make up for the game that got away from them last week against the Sea Eagles.”

Meanwhile, the unbeaten Sea Eagles will head to Arorangi with their tail feathers high after winning their opening two matches.

“It will be a tough game for the Bears as Sea Eagles will want to keep the momentum going. Big thing in the Bears favour is they love to play at home.”

All premier matches will kick off at 5pm.                

Fixtures 

Tomorrow: The Swamp: Premier – 5pm Avatiu Nikao Eels-Aitutaki Sharks (Ref: Nga Takaiti, Touch Judges: Sea Willis, John Makakea, Bench Officials: June, Taoro Brown)

Saturday: Raemaru Park: Premier – 5pm Arorangi Bears-Ngatangiia/Matavera Sea Eagles (Ref: Nga Takaiti, Touch Judges: Dawn, Peter Robertson, Ben Officials: John Makakea, Kora Kora); Victoria Park: U19 – 2pm Tupapa Panthers-Titikaveka Bulldogs (Referee: Paul Allsworth, Touch Judges: John Makakea, Kora Kora), Reserves – 3.30pm Tupapa Panthers-Titikaveka Bulldogs (Referee: Poso, Touch Judges:  William Taripo, Kora Kora), Premier – 5pm Tupapa Panthers-Titikaveka Bulldogs  (Referee: Tua Manea, Touch Judges: Koa, Pius, Beach: Paul Allsworth, William Taripo).

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