Panthers eye tough Bulldogs fight

Saturday February 18, 2017 Written by Published in League
Tupapa Panthers will be hoping for a quick start in today’s crunch battle against Titikaveka Bulldogs. 17021770 Tupapa Panthers will be hoping for a quick start in today’s crunch battle against Titikaveka Bulldogs. 17021770

Tupapa Panthers are hoping to make an early turnaround to their 2017 rugby league campaign after a losing start two weeks ago.

The Darren Piri-coached side, which lost their opening match to Ngatangiia/Matavera Sea Eagles 32-2, will take on a rampaging Titikaveka Bulldogs today in their second match at Victoria Park.

Coach Piri knows too well a win in the round three competition will get their campaign back on track.

But it will not come easy, as the Bulldogs which recorded a big win over the Aitutaki Sharks in the opener and a close loss to the Sea Eagles last week, has emerged a force to reckon with this season.

“It will be a tough match. The Bulldogs are a strong side and they have shown that in their earlier performances and they will come hard to win this match,” Piri said.

“We will just go out there and enjoy the game. We will give it all we got and hopefully win.”

The bye last week handed the Panthers with a chance to work on their weak links, which stood like sore thumb against the flying Sea Eagles.

Piri said they have a lot to work on to reach the desired level in the competition.

“Still a long way to go. We are working on our weaknesses. There is a lot of work to be done in the team,” he said.

“We were short of players and it was good to have some of them back in training.”

The Meti Noovao-coached Bulldogs were unlucky last weekend and will be wanting to get back to winning form.

“There are two things, one is wanting to win and the other is the need to win. We need to win this one because we are on bye next week,” Noovao said.

“Panthers are a strong side and they have a great coach in Darren Piri and I’m sure they will come out firing to win this match as well. We are looking forward to this game.”

Both coaches are calling on the fans to come out in numbers and support their respective teams.

In the other premier clash today, the Sea Eagles will take on Arorangi Bears at Raemaru Park

All premier matches will be held at 5pm.

Fixtures

Today: 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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