Arch-rivals Avatiu Nikao Eels and Arorangi Cowboys have met twice in the 2020 Rarotonga Club 15s competition.
In their first encounter, it was the Eels that came out on top winning the intense match 16-7.
The Cowboys hit back in round two match beating the Eels at home 21-11.
Today, they will face each other for the third time in a do-or-die match that will not only decide the stalemate they share but also their fate in the competition.
The winner of the Cowboys versus the Eels match at Ngatangiia Field in Muri, will play defending champions Tupapa Panthers in next week’s final.
Competition coordinator Ben Koteka said: “The Eels have had a mixed season of results but on the bright side the emergence of some of their young and talented forwards, the likes of loose forwards; Genesis Piri, Arona Ngari Jr, Ayden Kapi and hooker Josh Caffery have been a big-bonus for the Eels in 2020.”
Together with big mobile props Stanley Tuaivi and Toru Katuke, Koteka said the Eels have mastered the art of the “pick and go” to complement their exciting backline.
The Cowboys have been one of the big-improvers this year being the only team to defeat the champion Panthers in pool play.
However, the side was unlucky to repeat that feat when they met the Panthers in the play offs last week.
“The Cowboys do have some young players in their midst like: utility backs Matt Maui and James Strickland and loose forward Tanire Mokoroa. However, inconsistency and lack of focus, like last weeks’ semi-final against the 14-man Panthers team, is a reality check and warning that at this stage of the season, only the hungry will survive!”
Koteka said on a hard and fast Ngatangiia Field, he expects to see plenty of running rugby and tries being scored.
Cowboys coach Tavake Karika said last week’s loss against the Panthers was “unfortunate”.
“But we have put that aside as we look forward to this match. We just worked on tidying up little things from last week’s match. Basically, we have been improving bit by bit every week and we hope to do the same this weekend.”
The match kicks off at 4pm.
Ngatangiia Field – 2pm: Juniors U10s & U12s – Quick Rip, half field
(Refs: Club Officials), 3pm: U14 Rugby 15s Town-Country (Refs: Ben Koteka Assist. Ref: Club Officials), 4pm: Senior A Arorangi Cowboys-Avatiu/Nikao Eels (Refs: Teokotai Tuaivi Jr, Assist. Ref: Kora Kora/Tua Ngaputa. In Goal – Paul Peyroux/Sean Willis. Sub Bench: Peter Godfrey/Dawn Crummer/Simiona Teiotu). Entry Fee: Under 16s free and adults: $3.