On the opening day of the tournament, the side thrashed TKV Hot Mix Chicks 43-0 at the BCI Stadium in Nikao.
Guided by their skipper, Greer Muir of New Zealand, the side ran rampant in the opening spell before sealing the win with a dominant performance later in the second spell.
The team has six overseas-based players, who were impressive on debut, alongside locally-based players such as national sprinter Patricia Taea, and Moari Allsworth.
“The aim is to retain the title and make it three peat. It will not be an easy challenge as we know there are teams especially the Vaine Mauke and Cookies and Cream which will be tough matches for us,” Allsworth, who is also the team manager said.
“The inclusion of six overseas players has really boosted the team morale and we have been gelling well, looking forward to the remaining matches.”
Fitness will be key factor for the team as their players seemed to run out of gas early in the second spell before overpowering with a dominant finish in the final two minutes of the game against the TKV Hot Mix Chicks.
“We are fortunate to have good support from our sponsors - Rarotonga Brewery who is our major sponsor, Mike Pero, Onu and Glen Tuaine who helped us with the accommodation,” Allsworth added.
The day one competition started with Manatoa taking on Atiu Warriors in an interesting tussle.
The close battle saw Manatoa, which consists of national players preparing for the Oceania Sevens Championships next week, escape with a 17-14 win.
In the second men’s match, Tauae Bulls thumped Araura Enua 34-0. The Bulls dominated the match against Araura Enua which struggled to stamp their mark in the match.
Arorangi Cowboys made their intentions clear after bashing Ngatangiia Matavera Phoenix 45-0 in the third match of day one.
The Cowboys dominated throughout the match and made their opportunities count in the big win.
Other matches were underway when this edition went to print yesterday.
Meanwhile local referees received a major boost yesterday when the New Zealand-based construction company McConnell Dowell handed over two sets of four ref audio pro devices.
Cook Islands Referees Association president Simiona Teiotu said they would use the devices at this weekend’s Raro Sevens.
“This is a very handy device which is being used in NRL and Super Rugby competitions. It helps linemen to communicate with the referee during the match and notify about things like forward pass, or any infringements the referee has missed.”
1pm Tupapa Panthers-Phoenix, 1.18pm Veisana Vikings-Takutea Warriors, 1.36pm Tupapa Panthers Matie Centre-Atiu Warriors, 1.54pm Yalovata-Araura Enua, 2.12pm Avatiu Eels-Aroko Dragons; 2.30pm Cookies and Cream-TKV Hot Mix Chicks, 2.48pm Raro All Stars-Vaine Mauke; 3.06pm Activity; 3.24pm Yalovata-Tauae Bulls, 3.42pm Tupapa Panthers-Arorangi Cowboys, 4pm Veisana Vikings-Avatiu Eels, 4.18pm Tupapa Panthers Matie Centre-Manatoa, 4.36pm Takutea Warriors-Aroko Dragons; 4.54pm Vaine Mauke-TKV Hot Mix Chicks, 5.12pm Raro All Stars-Cookie and Cream