Arch-rivals set for showdown

Saturday April 15, 2017 Written by Published in Other Sports
Takuvaine age group team in action in last week’s Rarotonga Netball Club competition at Happy Valley courts. 17041367 Takuvaine age group team in action in last week’s Rarotonga Netball Club competition at Happy Valley courts. 17041367

It is all to play for when the Ngatangiia Matavera Sea Eagles take on Avatiu Nikao Eels in the feature league clash on Monday at Nukupure Park.

 

The stakes are high for both teams as they need to win to remain in the running for a top-four finish. 

In their round-one clash at The Swamp, both teams were locked at 24-all after an intense 80-minute tussle.

The Eels led 18-6 at the break before the Sea Eagles fought back to level the match and take the battle to the wire in the dying stages.

A lot has happened to both teams since that meeting.

The Sea Eagles, who maintained a perfect run in round one competition, were stripped of their match points after being judged by the league to have broken competition rules following a complaint concerning a player from the Eels.

The punishment from Cook Islands Rugby League Association saw the Sea Eagles slump to the last spot on the points table.

The matter is now before the courts after Sea Eagles challenged the decision.

A decision on this matter is expected next month.

After successive losses to Tupapa Panthers and Titikaveka Bulldogs, the Sea Eagles regained composure in last week’s match against Arorangi Bears.

The Kaka Ama-coached side thumped the Bears 56-8 at home.

Defending champions Eels aren’t as sharp as they were in the competition last year.

After a mixed performance in round one, which saw two losses and a draw, the Albert Nicholas-coached side resumed their campaign with a win in their opening round two match against Takuvaine Warriors.

But the loss to Aitutaki Sharks, which is their first against the side since the competition started, blew their chances of gaining crucial points to edge closer towards the top place on the points table.

They will be using the match on Monday to redeem themselves.

In the other premier match on Monday, the Bears will host the Panthers at Raemaru Park.

All premier matches kick off at 4.30pm.       

Fixtures

Monday: Ngatangiia-Matavera Sea Eagles-Avatiu Nikao Eels at Nukupure Park

– 1.30pm U11 (Ref: J Murray), 2.15pm U13 (Ref: D Crummer), 3pm Reserves (Ref: P Allsworth, Lines: P Peyroux, T Peyroux), 4.30pm Premiers (Ref: N Takaiti, Lines: D Drummer, B Bishop, Sub: T Manea, P Peyroux), Arorangi Bears-Tupapa Panthers at Raemaru Park – 2.45pm U11 (Ref: P Rongokea), 3.30pm U13 (Ref: P Robertson), 4.30pm Premiers (Ref: P Ngaroi, Lines: K Kopu, P Robertson, Sub’s: J Henry, M Rima).

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