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Sevens team finish tournament on high

Monday April 23, 2018 Written by Published in Rugby Union
Cook Islands U18s fi nished fi fth in the 2018 Oceania Rugby U18s Sevens Championship over the weekend. 18042318 Cook Islands U18s fi nished fi fth in the 2018 Oceania Rugby U18s Sevens Championship over the weekend. 18042318

A tough start in the inaugural 2018 Oceania Rugby U18s Sevens Championship which ended on a high for the Cook Islands, as they ran the Solomon Islands off the park to the tune of 41-5.

The win ensured that the young Cook Islanders finished fifth overall, behind Australia, Samoa, Fiji and Tonga.

Coming into the tournament ranked fourth, ahead of Tonga and Solomon Islands, the Kukis got off to a rough start in their first match against the eventual winners Australia, going down 25-5, with prop Kalem Strickland the lone try scorer.

Their second match against Fiji was much closer, ending in a 14-7 loss.

Fiji were up 14-0 at halftime, with a try from New Zealand-based Kuki Rouru Nemia Teariki and an accurate conversion from Jordan Tuakana making for a thrilling finish.

Their third match against Tonga was an absolute nail-biter, just losing out 22-19.

Tangimetua Akava dotted down twice, with Strickland scoring his second of the tournament, but they were unable to overcome the Tongans, who scored four tries.

Round four, against the Solomon Islands, was their best chance to notch their first win, but unfortunately they were only able to grind out a 12-all draw.

Tuakana scored and converted a try, with Yorel Alapaki scoring the other. All points from both sides came after a scoreless first half.

In their final match of the round robin they ran into the Samoan buzzsaw, who were unbeaten until the final and ran away with the match 42-7, with Tangimetua Akava scoring the lone Cook Islands try.

The best was saved for last though of course, Cook Islands rebounding from their winless round robin to thrash Solomon Islands, leading 22-0 after halftime.

The Akava brothers, Tangimetua and Brian, both crossed for tries, with the former dotting down twice, while Taua Heather, Teariki and Thomas Daniel scored two, one and one respectively in the 41-5 rout.

Tangimetua Akava finished the tournament as the third-equal try scorer with five, while Tuakana was the ninth top-point scorer, with one try and eight conversions to his name.

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