Nukz Power, which is leading the women’s competition, defeated Bounty Hunters 9-1 at Nikao Field, to extend their lead to 24 points.
The defending champions maintained their dominance with another strong performance in their final preliminary round match.
The Nukz Power maidens under the leadership of coach Suniela Tom played an impressive structured team game to unnerve a usually strong Bounty Hunters.
The loss sees the Bounty Hunters slip to third spot with 16 points. FBI climbed up to second spot on 18 points after beating an enthusiastic Niks 8-5.
Cook Islands Touch president Daphne Brown said the Niks, which finished on fourth spot, were first to score, catching the FBI middles offside to get a pass away.
“Feeling the pressure, FBI rallied to equalise the score and then traded a couple more tries to eventually get its nose ahead,” she said.
“Standing out on defence was youngsters Tashi Kopu and Page Kapi for the Niks team. FBI will need to bring a better defensive game to stand a chance in the semis.” In the men’s competition, GAT maintained their unbeaten run with a 10-2 win over Availables.
Playing without their playmaker Puna Hiro, GAT led by Maiti Samson powered through after a tough start.
“Both teams were evenly matched with speed and steppers and for some time the score was 1-all. But it was GAT that showed patience and experience to continue their touch down spree,” Brown said.
“Whilst the Availables were outplayed in the end with some discipline and good options, the young Availables can be a force to be reckoned with.”
The win helped GAT end the preliminary round on 26 points.
In the other men’s match, Germinators recorded a default win over Team 4 to finish second on 15 points followed by Availables and Team 4 on 11 and seven points, respectively.
The mixed division matches will be held today, starting at 5pm.
FBI 8 Niks 5, Bounty Hunters 1 Nukz Power 9, Germinators 5 Team 4 0, GAT 10 Availables 2.
5pm Field 1 NT Aroa-Rehab (MX), Field 2 MFEM-Bluesky (Mx), Field 3 Juniors Game; 5.35pm Field 1 007-ICI (MX), Field 2 Mangaia-SSC (MX);
6.10pm Field 1 TB-Nukz Power (mx), Field 2 Team ATT-Top Kopz (MX).