Cook Islands Rugby League Association competition coordinator Taua Benioni said the junior grades now had clubs and coaches working together, allowing future premier players a chance to develop their skills in the competition.
The junior contest features teams in different grades with players nine to 17 years.
“We all realise that rugby league is their game, so let them play,” Benioni said.
“CIRLA junior development has been an ongoing programme to maintain avenues for the kids to play league, especially when there is a lot of sports being played at the same time.”
In the last few years, Benioni said CIRLA had faced challenges in the same way as other codes to run junior competitions.
“As CIRLA competition and junior development coordinator, I’m always looking forward to each weekend and hearing how successful the day was,” Benioni said.
“The Aitutaki juniors experienced top competition by having the Sea Eagles U17s and U11s traveling over with their premiers earlier in round one.”
This weekend, all focus with the U11s and U13s will turn to the Swamp, with matches running from 11am through to 2.15pm and culminating with the Avatiu Nikao Eels and Takuvaine Warriors premier clash at 4.30pm.
Tomorrow – Raemaru Park: 5pm Premier Arorangi Bears-Aitutaki Sharks, Teimurimotia Park: Under 19s Bulldogs-Sea Eagles, The Swamp: 5pm Reserves Eels-Warriors; Saturday – Teimurimotia Park: Bulldogs-Sea Eagles: 3pm Reserves, 4.30pm Premier, The Swamp: 11am U11s Sea Eagles-Panthers,
11.30am U13 Sea Eagles-Warriors, 12.15pm U11 Panthers-Bears, Eels-Warriors, 12.45pm U13 Panthers-Bears, 1.30pm U13 Eels-Warriors, 4.30pm Premier Eels-Warriors.