Late bite sees Sharks win

Tuesday April 18, 2017 Written by Published in League

Aitutaki Sharks continued their fine form with another brilliant win in the domestic rugby league competition over the weekend.


After beating defending champions Avatiu Nikao Eels at home a week ago, the side heaped pressure on struggling Takuvaine Warriors, overcoming them 26-24 on Thursday at the Happy Valley.

The closely contested battle proved a nail biter as both teams fought tooth and nail to elevate their standings on the points table.

Cook Islands Rugby League Association competition co-ordinator Taua Benioni said the encounter proved a thriller especially for the Sharks, which had a last bite in the match to deny the Warriors the crucial match points.

The home side led 24-18 in the second spell, thanks to the effort from their number eight Shaquille (The Shack) Ono, forward Vaike Potoru and utility Hayley Kairua.

Warriors coach/player Vase Samania and Ono held the forth with the slender lead into the final five minutes of the game when the Sharks hit back.

Messene Manapori, Loni Vanilla and try scoring Hugh Henry were brilliant for the visitors and their last dash for the try line paid off when Henry dived for a four pointer in the corner.

With the conversion successful, both teams were locked 24-all, heading into the dying stages of the match.

With two minutes to go, Ono, who played a pivotal role for the Warriors, was penalised by referee Tua Manea for a grappling contact to the head of a Sharks player. Sharks converted on the final hooter to sneak with a 26-24 win.

Benioni said the referee’s player of the match went to Sharks number seven Manapori and Warriors’ Kairua.

In the other premier matches, Ngatangiia/Matavera Sea Eagles hosted the Eels while Tupapa Panthers took on Arorangi Bears yesterday. Both matches were underway when this edition went to press yesterday.

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