Cook Islands boys and girls teams struggled to stamp their mark at the World School Sevens tournament in Auckland.
The boys team bombed out in the bowl semifinal, going down to Rugby Academy Fiji Boys 10-15.
Cook Islands defeated Two Blues Sydney 24-0 and Canadian Misfits Boys 12-5 before going down to New Zealand Maori 0-34 and Australia 0-36 in group stage.
The Cook Islands girls team lost all their matches. The side went down to Rugby Academy Fiji 10-24, New Zealand Fijians 5-28, Fiji 17-26 and Condor New Zealand 8-48.
Australia defeated Japan 21-12 to win the girls title while Condor New Zealand thumped New Zealand Fijians 43-5 to claim the boys title.
Cook Islands Rugby Union uses tournaments such as the World School Sevens to expose the upcoming players to top level international competition.
Despite the losses, the union must be pleased with the experience the Cook Islands youngsters received playing against top teams from Australia and New Zealand.
Cook Islands Rugby Union also used the tournament to promote their rugby events and the destination. This they achieved in collaboration with the Edgewater Resort and Cook Islands Tourism, who set up promotional tents at the event.
The World School Sevens is an international under-18 rugby event with over 32 teams from Japan, Canada, USA, Australia, Fiji, Vanuatu and New Zealand.
The aim of the tournament is to give players a life changing experience in New Zealand, showcase their talent and act as a development tool for the next generation of athletes in rugby sevens.
The event also involves a week of activities including an official team welcome and powhiri (traditional Maori welcome), a cultural evening and a warm up game.
Cook Islands (Boys) – Leandro Vakatini, Mace Carlson, Brian Akava, Maddison TeKeu, David Napa, William Rani, Haba Tamarua, Kaleb Emile-Voaga, Kilisi Brown-Ikitule, Trent Campbell, Taua Heather, Quinn Solo, Chase Harris, Che Clark. Coach: Shane Napa, Manager: Kevin Iro
Cook Island (Girls) – Fano Tarapi, Jordan Timore, Ezetera Nanua, Maeva Atatoa-Carr, Kaden Rota-Moeke, Ruby Patterson, Alyssa Mataiti, Shaniqua Casey, Ceyan Drollett, Ruth Dean, Tamara Ruaporo, April Ngatupuna, Milahn Situa, Tamikah Jo. Coach: Junior Kiria, Asst Coach: Robbie Atatoa, TK Moeke, Manager: Opura Samuel, Trainer: Beniamin Koiatu