Bulldogs favourite in reserves final

Friday May 31, 2019 Written by Published in League

Titikaveka Bulldogs will head into the Raro Cars Rugby League Competition 2019 reserves final today as the firm favourites.

 

The Bulldogs will take on Ngatangiia Matavera Sea Eagles at Nukupure Park at 4.30pm.

The Bulldogs and the Sea Eagles defeated the Tupapa Panthers in the playoffs to make it through to the final.

The reserves grade showdown has been brought forward to Friday because of the religious commitment of Bulldogs players, most of whom belong to the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church. SDA Church members observe their Sabbath on Saturday.

Cook Islands Rugby League competition coordinator Tai Nelio said they expect an exciting competition between the two teams for the reserves grade title.

“Bulldogs coming in this game as favourites after finishing second on the ladder at the end of the preliminary rounds. They came in the finals much more hungry and determine and they showed that when they dumped the first placing Tupapa Panthers,” Nelio said.

“They will no doubt use more of their faster backlines with their forwards first laying the foundation work up the middle. It's a very young side and has shown a maturity, gutsy and fire.”

Nelio said the spirited Sea Eagles outfit would be equally intimidating especially after their superb win against the Panthers last Saturday.

“The Sea Eagles are going in as the underdogs with lot of experience players in their team. I don’t think they mind that. They have shown a lot of fighting spirit in the games to get this far, much more so the grand finals. Good on them,” he said.

“They will have to play smart and control the game to their pace and comfort. They don't really want to let the Bulldogs kill them out wide or the Bulldogs will have a field day.”

Nelio said ball control, and discipline will play a big part in this game to establish and determine the winner of this match.

“May the best team win,” he added.

Meanwhile Nelio confirmed Rochelle Tamarua will be officiating the premier grade final between the Panthers and the Sea Eagles at the National Stadium in Nikao tomorrow.

Tamarua is well-known here as an official in the annual Nines tournaments. She also officiated the 2018 grand finale. Tamarua holds a major position as a referee match official within the NRL, Auckland and New Zealand Rugby League Referees Association.

Nelio said the clubs competing for the premier title requested for her.

“It’s the grand finale and we are pleased to have someone of Rochelle’s calibre to officiate the main match,” Nelio said.

 

Fixtures

Today: 4.30pm Reserves – Titikaveka Bulldogs-Nga/Mat Sea Eagles at Nukupure Park, Prize Giving;

Saturday: 10.40pm U9/11 Tupapa Panthers-Avatiu Eels (Half field), U9/11 Nga/Mat Sea Eagles-Arorangi Bears (Half field); 11.30am U13 Tupapa Panthers-Arorangi Bears, 12.40pm U16

 

Tupapa Panthers-Arorangi Bears; 2pm U19 Avatiu Eels-Arorangi Bears; 3.40pm Two Teams Assemble followed by National Anthem, 4pm Premier Nga/Mat Sea Eagles-Tupapa Panthers, Prize Giving

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