Hosted at Takuvaine by the newly created Schools team, which combines Avarua and Tereora College, the Pearls gave the youngsters a tough introduction to the competition, storming to a 90-18 win.
Takuvaine have kindly donated their court and umpires to Tereora College and Apii Avarua after being unable to enter their own teams for this year’s tournament.
The Pearls showed their experience, leading from start to finish, and will be hoping to continue their momentum this week against Tupapa, who had a first-up loss to Avatiu, going down 48-37.
Rising Stars tournament director Kopu Anguna said all the teams had a positive attitude on the first day of the tournament.
“Down at Avatiu, I was really impressed with all of the players across the age-groups all bringing the right attitude and having a great atmosphere across the morning.”
In the premier clash, Anguna singled out the performance of Tupapa player Anania Piri in the defensive circle. Piri had a monster game, finishing with 14 intercepts and seven deflections.
Anguna said that for the Panthers unfortunately all of their hard work on defence was not capitalised on, no doubt something the team will look to improve on against Titikaveka next week.
“Taking nothing away from Avatiu – they played a very consistent match and were deserved winners on the day.”
Seeing not only Tupapa but also Avatiu bringing plenty of youngsters on court to learn from the experienced senior players was crucial to the continued development of netball, Anguna said, adding that overall it was a great start to the tournament.
In the final premier game, Ngatangiia-Matavera Sea Eagles had to default, handing early competition points to Arorangi.
Tournament organisers wish to thank their 2018 sponsors: Bank of the Cook Islands, Bluesky, Rongohiva, Ministry of Health, Cook Islands Family Welfare, CITC, Varo Media, CIPS, Kuki Tag and Adventures, Rehab, Palm Grove, Island Craft, Cook Islands Tourism, Turamatuitui Bakery, Mat Man, Captain Tama’s, RaroXpo Limited, Punanga Nui Market, The Rarotongan, Ariki Adventures, Coco-Putt, Bounty Bookshop, Kite SUP, and Cook Islands Red Cross.
Schools v Titikaveka Pearls: Under-11, 5-28; Premier, 18-90. Avatiu Dragonflies v Tupapa Panthers: Under-11, 7-17; Under-13, 45-6; Under-17, 31-25; Premier, 48-37. Ngatangiia-Matavera Sea Eagles v Arorangi Flames: Under-11, 14-19; Under-13, 40-20; Under-17, 5-75; Premier, default win to Arorangi.