Arorangi Cowboys avenged their opening round loss to Avatiu Eels in round three of the Rarotonga Club 15s competition at Victoria Park on Saturday.
The Cowboys who led 11-6 at the break maintained their composure to win the match 21-11.
As expected, the battle between these two arch-rivals was intense with the scores locked at 11-all for most of the second half.
A surprising quick-fire 10-point haul by the Cowboys in the last four minutes handed them the crucial win.
Despite the loss, hardworking number eight Leki Hauvela and young forwards Genesis Piri and Aden Kapi stood out for the Eels.
For the Cowboys, their loose forwards Tanire Mokoroa and Rob Heather Jr and goalkicking utility back Basil Matapo, who nailed a long-range 48 metre penalty goal in the 76th minute of play to break the 11-all deadlock, were impressive.
In the other Senior A match, Tupapa Panthers thumped Takitumu 51-8 to maintain their lead in the competition.
The Panthers led 15-8 at the break
After a stern pep talk by the Panthers coach Darren Piri and a few tactical changes, including the introduction of Beniasi “Flash” Dakuwaqa and number eight Fereti Iona, who scored 26 points in the win, the defending champions ran riot to hammer the Takitumu side.
In the U16 match, Country defeated Town 17-10 while Town overcame Country 26-6 in the U19 grade.
U16 Country: 17 (Tries: Henry Mataio (2) & Ryan Daniel. Conv: Zac Tuaati) U16 Town: 10 (Tries: Francis Akava & Terry Akava); U19 Town: 26 (Tries: Okirua Eliu (2), Salvitory Ngaroi & Arona Ngari Jnr. Conv: Jireh Vunibaka(3) U19 Country: 6 (Pen: Taio Taio (2); Tupapa: 51 (Tries: Fereti Iona (2), Matamanea Matapakia (2), Beniasi Dakuwaqa, Savenaca Buresova Jnr, Davey Mato. Conv: Fereti Iona (5). Pen: Fererti Iona(2) Takitumu: 8 (Try: Tomasi Bikaka. Pen: James TofilaU); Arorangi Cowboys: 21 (Tries: Puna Suka & Matt Maui. Conv: Leo Roa. Pen: Basil Matapo (3) Avatiu Eels: 11 (Try: Leki Hauvela. Pen: Tovari Kenake (2)