Do-or-die in league final round

Monday May 08, 2017 Written by Published in League

Explosive battles are expected in the premier grade at The Swamp and Teimurimotia Park today.


With teams set to battle in the final week of the preliminary rounds in the national rugby league competition, all eyes will be on the Avatiu Nikao Eels who already have a hand on the minor premiership title.

The defending champions will host Arorangi Bears in the feature match at 4.30pm.

The Albert Nicholas-coached side will need at least a draw to retain the minor premiership title.

After two losses in the opening round of the competition against Tupapa Panthers and Titikaveka Bulldogs plus a surprise loss to Aitutaki Sharks in round two, Eels have maintained a winning run in their last three matches.

The side defended well against arch-rivals Panthers and Bulldogs, winning both battles with close margins.

Last week’s 26-24 win against the Bulldogs saw them go to the top of the table with 15 points.

Nicholas after that win said they would not take the Bears lightly as they had proven a side to beat in the past.

However, he said they wanted to finish the preliminary round on a high with a win.

The Bears also have a lot at stake. With a close battle in the top four race, the side will want to beat the mighty Eels to remain in the run for the semifinals spot.

The traditional rivalry between the two sides is expected to come to the fore as they battle tooth and nail for the valuable match points.

In the other premier clash, the Bulldogs will host Takuvaine Warriors in what should be an interesting match.

Bulldogs, on second spot, will want to win at any cost to claim the minor premiership title, hoping the Bears upset the Eels.

The win against the Warriors will also guarantee the team the second place finish.

After their surprise win against the Panthers last week, the Warriors are late contenders for the top four finish.

The Vase Samania-coached side will also want to win at any cost to finish ahead of the Bears and the Sharks.



Teimurimotia: Titikaveka-Takuvaine – 4.30pm Premiers (Referee: June Henry,                                      Touch judges: Dawn Crummer/Nga Takaiti, Bench: Poso/Paul Peyroux); The Swamp: 1pm Under 11 Avatiu-Arorangi (Referee: Jeff Murray), Under 11          Tupapa-Ngatangiia (Referee: Albert), 1.30pm Under 13 Avatiu-Arorangi (Referee: Jeff Murray), 2pm Under 13 Tupapa-Ngatangiia (Referee: Kora Kora), 3pm Reserves Tupapa-Ngatangiia (Referee: William Taripo, Touch judges: Allan Nanai/Taoro Brown), 4.30pm Premiers Avatiu-Arorangi (Referee: Tua Manea, Touch judges: Pete Robertson/Koa Kopu, Bench: Pius Mitchell/Kora Kora

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