Defending champions Tupapa thumped Takitumu 60-0 in the opening round of the Rarotonga Club 15s competition yesterday.
The Darren Piri-coached team who led 22-0 at the break put on a dominant performance in the second spell to walk away with the big win at Victoria Park.
Lanky winger Ben Dakuwaqa was the toast of Tupapa after scoring five tries in the 10-try rout.
The home team played with cohesion with their forwards leading the charge. They gained grounds with their powerful drives before feeding the ball to their fast and furious backline to score the tries.
Tupapa was superb in their execution, converting almost all the opportunities they created, into points.
Takitumu – a merger of Titikaveka and Ngatangiia/Matavera teams – had some quality players but they lacked combination. Inside centre Sai Lagi, hooker Rau Nga and lock Richard Piakura played well but were unable to make much impact in the match.
The win puts Tupapa on the right track for title defence.
In the other Senior A match, Avatiu will host arch-rivals Arorangi at The Swamp this afternoon.
Avatiu president Bim Tou-Kiriau said Arorangi would be a tough start to their 2020 campaign. The side finished runner up in last year’s competition.
“Arorangi always goes all out when they play against us at our home ground and we expect them to come out firing in this match too,” Tou-Kiriau said.
Former Avatiu rep George Fatafehi is coaching the team this season. Veterans Clive and Lui Nicholas will lead the side.
Arorangi coach Tavake Karika said they had only one training session this week for today’s clash.
“We were supposed to be on bye this week but there was a late change and we were told that we have to play Avatiu on Saturday. Some of our boys played in the Town versus Country match so we hope that combination and fitness will help us against Avatiu.”
The match will kick off at 4pm.
Avatiu Field: Avatiu-Arorangi – 11.30am: Juniors U9, 11 & U13s – Quick Rip, half field for all clubs (Refs: Club Officials); 12.30pm: U16 Rugby 15s (2x 25mins) Town-Country (Refs: William Taripo, Assist. Ref: Club Officials), 1.30pm: U19 (2x 35) Town-Country (Refs: Peter Godfrey Assist. Simi Teiotu/Dawn Crummer), 2.50pm: Oldies 45+ (2x 15) Town-Country (Refs: Club Officials, Assist. Ref: Club Officials), 3.30pm: Women’s – Quick Rip Town-Country (Refs: Dawn Crummer Assist. Ref: Club Officials), 4pm: Senior A (2x 40) (Refs: Teokotai Tuaivi Jnr Assist. Ref: Sean Willis/Kora Kora. Sub Bench: Peter Godfrey/Dawn Crummer)