Rampant Eels thrash Sea Eagles

Wednesday April 19, 2017 Written by Published in League
Avatiu Nikao Eels forward Tokerau Raru takes on the Ngatangiia Matavera Sea Eagles players at Nukupure Park on Monday. Eels won 50-6. 17041830 Avatiu Nikao Eels forward Tokerau Raru takes on the Ngatangiia Matavera Sea Eagles players at Nukupure Park on Monday. Eels won 50-6. 17041830

Defending champions Avatiu Nikao Eels have put the pressure on the national rugby league competition leaders after a superb win against arch-rivals Ngatangiia/Matavera Sea Eagles on Monday.

 

The feature premier match of the week played at Nukupure Park in Muri saw the Eels romp away with a huge 50-6 win.

In the round one competition played at The Swamp, both teams were locked at 24-all after an intense 80 minutes battle.

In the round two clash this week, the visitors who have endured a mixed performance so far this season, made a bullet start, hitting the home defence hard from the opening whistle.

The return of their overseas-based players Aaron Enoka, Tokerau Raru and JJ Nicholas provided depth to the team as the trio combined well with the Rarotonga-based stars to dominate the play in the opening spell.

Sea Eagles led by the hard-hitting Logan Perenise and Peter Marsters had their fair share of chances but were unable to penetrate a resilient Eels defence.

Eels ran in three tries in the opening spell to lead 18-0 at the break.

Fitness and composure proved the difference in the second spell as the Eels ran rampage, scoring 32 more points to seal the 50-6 win.

Sea Eagles were left ruing at their missed opportunities in the heavy defeat which has further dented their chance of finishing in the top four.

Team coach Kaka Ama considered defeat, adding they do not have any excuse for the loss.

He said they lost to a better team on the day.

Ama said they needed to win their remaining matches to stay in contention for the top four finish.

The Sea Eagles, who lost most of their round one points after being deemed in breach of competition rules, will be hoping for a court decision in their favour to ensure their place in the top four. 

But Ama said they would prefer gaining points on the field through their remaining matches rather than relying on the court decision.

Eels’ coach Albert Nicholas said the win was crucial in their bid to finish on top after the preliminary round of competition.

He was pleased with the performance from his players, but said there were still areas to work on.

“We have some tough games coming up and it’s always good to have such win in the crucial stage of the competition,” Nicholas said.

“It’s still up in the air, it’s anyone’s season so far. Last year we were pretty dominant throughout, week in and week out, but this year, there have been ups and downs.

“Hopefully after this win, we can pick up momentum and finish stronger.”

Both Ama and Nicholas thanked their supporters for backing the teams. The latter also thanked Sea Eagles for being a good host.

In the other premier match played on Monday, Arorangi Bears came from behind to salvage a point against leaders Tupapa Panthers in a 26-all draw at Raemaru Park.

Last week, Aitutaki Sharks surprised Takuvaine Warriors with a 26-24 win at the Happy Valley. 

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