Getting the players to training was difficult at the start, but as the event in Australia drew closer, everybody attended training on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Constitution Park.
Led by the head coach Bobby Hunter aka “The Big Fellar”, the players were constantly reminded to turn up for training before thinking of making the team.
“You and I have to train, simple, nothing fancy, just turn up to training and do the hard yards. At the end of the day it’s your body on the line. Let’s all do hard work here at home and everything will come in to place on tour,” Hunter told the players.
The accommodation, playing, travelling gear and transport were organised by Tony Mac, the team commissioner.
Simi “Athomatic” Teiotu, the one everybody loves to hate, was the team manager.
On the day the team left, the manager laid down the rules.
“Yes, your gears look good on you, but I don’t know about on the field. So will see when we play our first game. Don’t forget rule number one, we are going as ambassadors for our small beautiful country,” Teiotu told the team.
“The most important part of it is, have fun and enjoy the trip. Don’t forget, anybody reported to me for breaking the rules, you will be dealt with accordingly, before the Kangaroo Court.”
The team played six games, won five and lost one. Player of the tour was Lawton and Mr Brown. The best try on tour went to Ngatokorua, aka Buff Daddy.
The Cook Islands Masters Turtle team would like to acknowledge sponsors Koka Lagoon Tours, Conrad, Bobby and their hard working team on the Koka tours and up in the workshop, Super Brown (Taoro and Rose) and our other small sponsors.
A big thank you to our family on the Gold Coast – Pua and Iaveta Rangi, Mia and Uta Ngaoire, Aunty Mrs Q, our Aitutaki community, Steve Ryan and his wife Grace and many other friends.
Meanwhile, a League Masters Mini Fiesta tournament will start today and will run until April 16.
The opening function will be held today followed by three game days, tomorrow, Monday and Wednesday. The closing function will be held on Wednesday night.
New Zealand-based Papakura, Manurewa, Glenfield and Christchurch and local clubs Ngatangiia, Tupapa, Takuvaine TKV, Avatiu Nikao Masters and Avatiu Mongoose will be competing in this tournament.
On Thursday next week, teams will travel to Aitutaki for the last leg of the Masters Mini Tournament.
- Simi Teiotu