After consecutive losses to Tupapa Panthers and Titikaveka Bulldogs, the Eels will desperately want to get back in winning ways but the Bears have proven a tough nut to crack at their home ground.
Bears team manager Puai Wichman said the historical rivalry between the two clubs was fierce.
It would not be any different when the Bears take on the Eels today, he added.
Both teams have lost two matches each and drawn one in the competition so far.
“It’s an important match to both teams. We lost to the Bulldogs two weeks ago and a week break gave us an opportunity to look into our weaknesses and work on them,” Wichman said.
“We are looking forward to this match.”Wichman said the team was proud to field Arorangi players in their side which had boosted their morale.
“The players wear the jersey with pride and we are proud of the fact that we have most of our own players playing for us.”
After last week’s loss Eels mentor Albert Nicholas said they needed to go back to the drawing board and work hard to rediscover their winning form.
Meanwhile the Bulldogs is holding firm to its ground ahead of their clash with the Takuvaine Warriors, despite beating defending champions Eels last week.
The Bulldogs handed the Eels its second loss of the season, opening up an interesting early race for this year’s league title.
Today, the team will travel to the Happy Valley in hunt for the successive win against a struggling Warriors side.
But coach Meti Noovao said they would not take any team lightly in the competition as he hopes to bring some consistency heading into round two games.
“There are other teams that are playing well and will start peaking at the right time and we hope to do the same as well,” Noovao said.
“With us, it’s all about a game at a time. Every game is a big game for us so we can’t take any team for granted. We want to go out there with our best foot forward.”
The Warriors, which lost to Tupapa Panthers last week, will be hoping to redeem themselves in front of their fans.
A win will bring back hopes of qualifying for the semifinals, and ultimately the chances of winning the title.
The premier matches will kick off at 4.30pm. - RK
4.30pm Premier TKV Warriors-Bulldogs at Takuvaine (Referee: Tua Manea, Lines: Koa Kopu/Paul Peyroux, Bench: Papa Pat/June Henry), 4pm Reserves Panthers-Sea Eagles at Tupapa (Referee: Paul Allsworth, Lines: Sean Willis/William Taripo), 3pm Under 19 Panthers-Sea Eagles at Tupapa (Referee: Poso Ngaroi), 2.15pm Under 13 Panthers-Sea Eagles at Tupapa (Referee: Taoro Brown), 1.45pm Under 11 Panthers-Sea Eagles at Tupapa (Referee: Taoro Brown); 4.30pm Premiers Bears-Eels at Arorangi (Referee: Nga Takaiti, Lines: Peter Robertson/Dawn Crummer, Bench: Simi Teiotu/Tai Nelio), 3pm Reserves Bears-Eels (Unofficial) at Arorangi (Referee: Simiona Teiotu, Lines: Club Officials), 2.15pm Under 13 Bears-Eels at Arorangi (Referee: Albert Nicholas/Robert Heather), 1.45pm Under 11 Bears-Eels at Arorangi (Referee: Jeff Murray/Simona Aumetua), 1.45pm Under 11 Bears-Eels at Arorangi (Referee: Bishop Bishop/Vaipo Mataora).