League postpones U19 matches

Thursday April 06, 2017 Written by Published in League

Cook Islands Rugby League Association has been forced to postpone its Under-19 matches until further notice after claims that some key players have been stopped from participating in the domestic weekly competition.

Local clubs are unable to secure their players who are part of the Tereora College 1st XV team to the Pacific Cup Rugby High School Championship in Hawaii later this month.

CIRLA competitions co-ordinator Taua Benioni said some of the young players playing in the U19s competition were told not to play rugby league until they returned from the tour.

However, Tereora College principal Tania Morgan denied the claims, adding they were only instilling “in the boys a sense of commitment to what is important”.

Benioni said the Tereora team was due to travel in two weeks’ time and regular competition would help players maintain their fitness.

“For all our young guys travelling, it is always a must to maintain their match fitness and continue on training and at the same time also enjoy playing for your club whether it be rugby league, soccer, netball,” Benioni said.

“This (players being told not to play) has caused a major dilemma amongst the clubs and therefore CIRLA has postponed all U19 matches until further notice.”

Tereora College 1st XV will fly out on April 24 for the tournament to be held from April 27 to 29.

Morgan said this was the first time in a long time that Tereora College would be represented on the international sporting arena.

She said as such, they do expect a certain level of commitment from the players.

“We (as a community) are investing a lot of time into these boys and we expect these boys to perform well and be at their best for the tournament,” Morgan said.

“We are providing the boys with an environment that focusses on commitment, determination, self-belief and to be the best that they can be in their chosen activity. 

“We know and understand that they will have other commitments – academics, culture, sports, family and church obligations; however to perform at a level that is expected there may be decisions that will need to be made by the boys. 

“When they tour and compete against other international teams, they are representing our college and themselves.”

Morgan said they needed to ensure that they were sending away and supporting players that are committed to the team. 

“At the end of the day, the boys themselves will decide on what and how much they can commit to. 

“As a college we cannot stop our students from playing other sports, just as much as we cannot stop students from travelling overseas for family occasions, church or cultural activities – however what we can do, is instill in the boys a sense of commitment to what is important.”

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