After suffering a heartbreak in the domestic fifteens competition, the side redeemed itself, winning the two local Sevens tournaments in the lead up to the big one.
Over the weekend, the club’s persistence paid off when the Tupapa Maraerenga Matie Bar, made up of overseas players, claimed the Raro Rugby Sevens title against defending champions Tabusoro at the BCI Stadium in Nikao.
It was a convincing win for the side which defeated Tabusoro twice – 19-5 in the pool play on Friday before the 12-5 win in the men’s Cup showdown on Saturday.
In the women’s final, defending champions Vaine Toa Raro All Stars retained the title after beating Wellington Barbarians 17-0.
The final day of the tournament, played under soggy conditions, brought some exciting competitions, culminating with superb finals in all divisions.
The men’s Cup final saw the Tupapa Maraerenga Matie Bar score first against the run of play to take a slender lead before getting their second to head into the break with a 12-0 lead.
Tabusoro seemed frustrated with Tupapa’s coordinated approach to keep their opponents in their own territory, and made some silly mistakes, gifting the eventual winner territorial advantage and possession.
Tupapa, led by Argentine Ignacio Costa, was brilliant in attack, stringing together some neat passes to weave past the Tabusoro defenders, and rigid in defence to keep their opponent at bay.
Tabusoro, as expected, bounced back in the second spell with an unconverted try and despite their best attempts, were unable to put more points on the board.
Tupapa held on and came away with a well-deserved 12-5 win.
This is the club’s first win in the tournament after entering in the annual international meet five years ago.
“Before coming here, we knew Tupapa had never won the competition so we had a big task ahead of ourselves and the boys came together and performed well in all three days and we are happy with this win,” skipper Costa said.
“Going into the final with so much rain, we just wanted to hold the ball and starve them of possession. We did that in the first half, but struggled a little bit in the second half, but our defence held on and we’re pleased with the effort to win in the end.”
The win earned Tupapa Maraerenga Matie Bar side $8000 while Raro All Stars received $3000 for retaining the women’s title.
Bowl Qtr. Finals – Avatiu Blue 7 Tupapa Maraerenga Panthers 38, Atiu Warriors 43 Veiyasana Vikings 0; U17 Tahiti Team 0 U17 Cook Islands Team 41; Women’s Semi-Final – Vaine Toa Raro Allstars 27 TKV Hot Mix 5, Wellington Barbarians 15 Cookies & Cream 0; Cup Qtr. Finals – Tupapa Maraerenga Matie Bar 31 Kotaa Gliders 7, Avatiu Gold 19 Manatoa 12, Tauae Bulls 12 Arorangi Cowboys 14, Yalovata 0 Tabusoro 19; 17 Tahiti Team 0 U17 Cook Islands Team 39; Bowl Semi-Finals – N8tive Rebels 5 Tupapa Maraerenga Panthers 26, TKV Reds 14 Atiu Warriors 12; Women’s 3rd Placing – TKV Hot Mix 0 Cookies & Cream 38; Plate Semi-Finals – Kotaa Gliders 12 Manatoa 5, Tauae Bulls 12 Yalovata 19; Cup Semi-Finals – Tupapa Maraerenga Matie Bar 19 Avatiu Gold 0, Arorangi Cowboys 7 Tabusoro 12; Men’s Shield Final – Avatiu Blue 5 Veiyasana Vikings 15; Men’s Bowl Final – Tupapa Maraerenga Panthers 24 TKV Reds 0; Men’s Plate Final – Kotaa Gliders 7 Yalovata 5; Women’s Cup Final – Vaine Toa Raro Allstars 17 Wellington Barbarians 0; Men’s Cup Final – Tupapa Maraerenga Matie Bar 12 Tabusoro 5