Rugby eyes major improvements

Monday December 30, 2019 Written by Published in Rugby Union
The 2019 rugby union season had only five clubs competing. Cook Islands Rugby Union is eyeing for six clubs next year. 19091517 The 2019 rugby union season had only five clubs competing. Cook Islands Rugby Union is eyeing for six clubs next year. 19091517


Cook Islands Rugby Union is ready to put their unforgettable 2019 season behind and focus on making 2020 a successful year.

Union acting president Simiona Teiotu said they had a “mixed season” with some success and disappointments in the domestic and international competitions.


The 2019 season started with a shortened Rarotonga Club 15s competition with five clubs competing. The teams were eventual winners Tupapa Panthers, Avatiu Eels, Arorangi Cowboys, Titikaveka Bulls and Takuvaine Reds.

Unlike in the past, only one round of preliminary matches were played this year before teams headed into the knockouts. The weekly competition was cut short, bringing it down from 12 to eight weeks.

Teiotu said the aim was to get all six clubs in Rarotonga competing in a proper season consisting home and away fixture before the knockouts, next year.

“The domestic competition was not that good and there were various factors which contributed to its downfall,” Teiotu said.

“The clubs were experiencing player shortage issue and maybe that’s the major reason why we couldn’t get all six clubs.”

Teiotu, who took over the reins from Sean Smith after the latter stepped down citing personal reasons, was also not pleased with the results attained by the Cook Islands Sevens teams at the Pacific Games and the Oceania Sevens Championship.

However he acknowledged the hard work put in by the management and players at these international meets.

“I think we could have done better at the Pacific Games, atleast won bronze medal but I know it’s not easy at that level. Our campaign at the Oceania Sevens wasn’t as expected.”

However Teiotu was pleased with the U16 College Sevens Tournament, saying the event was the highlight for the Union in the 2019 season.

A record number of local and New Zealand clubs took part in the boys and girls competition held at Arorangi last month.

Teiotu also said they would use the U16 tournament to improve the profile of the Raro International Sevens.

“The plan is to run the U16 Tournament alongside the Raro Sevens in October next year. We have seen the potential of this age group tournament and we hope it would make the Raro Sevens a better event.”

The 2019 season ended with the U18 Schools Sevens in which Cook Islands men’s and women’s teams took part.

Teiotu said: “On behalf of the executive board, I want to thank all of our sponsors and supporters. We look forward to working with them again next year.”



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