As well as converting Ratu Makirere’s try, Leo Roa kicked two penalties for the Cowboys on their home field. And Matt Maui chipped in with a drop-goal to put the victory beyond doubt.
There was a long-period of play late in the first half where the scrambling Cowboys defence was able to hold out the persistent Panthers attack, said Ben Koteka, Cook Islands Rugby Union development manager.
“From there the Cowboys seemed to lift in confidence and even when the Cowboys had a player sin-binned in the second half they stayed in the fight,” he said.
The Cowboys tactic to kick for the corners and territory seemed to work as a frustrated and disjointed Panthers attack failed to fire.
In the second half the Cowboys were able to apply pressure that resulted in points.
But on an otherwise tough day for the Panthers, there was a moment of brilliance when utility player Fereti Iona ran in a 40-metre solo try from the kick-off.
Arorangi came away with a 16-11 win.
Senior A: Avatiu-Nikao Eels 40 – 10 Takitumu Titans
The Eels showcased their attacking flair with some good long-range tries being scored. Best players for the Eels were; first 5/8 Tovari Kenake and rookie forward Arona Ngari Jnr.
Takitumu battled but they were unable to contain the express pace and overall skill of the Eels backs. Best players for Takitumu were; props Maine Rongo and Clark Ngaau and also utility back James Tofilau.
U16: Country 22 - 15 Town
With the halftime score locked at 10-all and then then mid-second half 15-all, this was anyones game. Country again finished the job with a late converted try to Fili Kanava to spoil the Town hopes of victory.
U19: Country 20 - 17 Town
Another exciting see-saw game that came down to the wire. Again the more experienced Country team able to outlast the younger Town team with a late converted try to their number 8 Parau Ellis.