In the second round of the competition today at home at Victoria Park, the Panthers will be hoping for a payback when they take on the Sea Eagles in the feature match of the week.
After that 32-2 loss in their opening match, the Darren Piri-coached side has come a long way to finish round one on top of the table, tied with Titikaveka Bulldogs.
The in-form Sea Eagles, which won most of their Round One matches, lost eight points after the side was found guilty of breaching competition rules.
That placed them at the bottom of the points table with Aitutaki Sharks and Takuvaine Warriors. Today, the side will be hoping to redeem itself in a bid to make it into the top-four race.
Panthers coach Piri said they were wary of the Sea Eagles intentions in today’s clash.
“It’s going to be a tough match. They want their points back and for us, we need to show that our development work is paying off, going forward,” Piri said.
“It was an embarrassing start to the campaign in that opening game (against the Sea Eagles) and the players know that.
“They know they can do better than the last time and that’s what we will be gunning for.”
Led by captain Teina Savage, the Panthers have a formidable forward and backline which has been boosted by the inclusion of Fijian imports.
Piri said their imports were gelling well with the Rarotonga-based players.
Sea Eagles also has a dynamic squad led by Logan Perenisi who is a force to reckon with in the domestic competition.
After a blockbusting start, the side has struggled a bit lately in the competition but retained their winning run, only to lose their valuable points to off field drama. Piri is calling on fans to come out in numbers and support their respective teams in the crucial encounter.
The premier matches will kick off at 4.30pm. - RK
Fixtures; Takuvaine – 4.30pm Premier TKV Warriors-Arorangi Bears (Ref Arthur Emile, Lines Peter Robertson/Dawn Crummer, Bench Papa Pat/June Henry), Reserves Eels-Bulldogs (Ref June Henry, Lines Poso Ngaroi/Teariki Peyroux), Under 13s TKV-Bears (Ref Vase Samania), Under 11s TKV-Bears (Ref Tai Ngari), Under 11s Eels-Bears (Ref Nadave Tereapii); Tupapa – 4.30pm Premiers Tupapa Panthers-Ngatangiia/Matavera Sea Eagles (Ref Tua Manea, Lines Paul Peyroux/Koa Kopu, Bench Simi Teiotu/Tai Nelio), Reserves Panthers-Sea Eagles (Ref Paul Allsworth, Lines Tofiga Aisake/William Taripo), Under 19s Panthers-Sea Eagles (Ref Walter Tangata, Lines Simi Teiotu/Tai Nelio), Under 13s Panthers-Sea Eagles (Ref Teariki Peyroux, Lines Manavaroa Mataiapo/Joe Tommy), Under 11s Panthers-Sea Eagles (Refs Billy Tuaivi Jr/Captain Moko).