KAPS caused a major upset to get crowned the new champions of the Vodafone Mixed Touch Competition.
The side defeated top favourites 007 4-3 in a closely contested final on Wednesday at Nikao field.
When these two teams stacked with national reps last met in the round games, it was 007 that had won the match.
However KAPS managed to turn the tables in the match that mattered the most.
KAPS scored the opener through Tevita Niusama who made a great intercept and ran the length of the field to give his side 1-0 lead.
This followed by tries from both sides as they remained at level terms most of the match.
KAPS was led by veterans Conrad Piri and Geoff Halston who set up their tries. For 007, Johnis Atai worked his magic with national reps Pare Noovao and Mele Poaru to keep them in the game.
Both teams were locked at 3-all as the match entered the final five minutes.
Veteran Geoff Halston stepped up to score the match winning point with a dive to the line from five metres out.
KAPS managed to hold on to the slender 4-3 lead to claim the Cup title.
In the third place playoff, giants ICI Transformers battled the much improved Mangaia.
ICI proved too strong for Mangaia, winning 8-2.
The plate final show a battle between two corporate giants, Vodafone and BSP.
Vodafone turned up in full force, flooding the field with red. The side hit the scoreboard early with a quick move from duo Julz Westrupp and Koa Kopu right from tap off.
With the injection of Papua New Guinean rugby league players, Vodafone played a Sevens Touch style game moving the ball from end to end, looking for overlaps. This created space and try scoring opportunities for the female members in the team.
BSP were missing a number of their big guns but this didn’t dampen their spirits. They put on a spirited performance and were rewarded by the speed of Pita Senibiakula who managed to evade a lazy defence moment from Vodafone to cross the try line and get points for BSP.
But his efforts proved too little as Vodafone walked away with a resounding 11-2 win.
Team ATT defeated Tuanga Taporoporo 1-0 to claim the third spot.
Cook Islands Touch president Daphne Brown hailed the 2020 season a success despite disruption from Covid-19.
“As we had to stop our competition for eight weeks due to Covid-19 it is great to be able to finish off our Touch Season competition. We were really pleased when the teams confirmed that they wanted to carry on playing Touch and finish our interrupted season games. Congratulations to all the teams that took part in the women’s, men’s and mixed competition,” Brown said.
“We are very grateful and thank our major sponsor Vodafone Cook Islands for its support and prizes for our season competition. We thank Place Takeaways and Annie’s Fried Chicken for generously supporting the junior players playing in the open competition. We thank your referees for their hard work.
“Touch is planning and looking forward to the upcoming Cook Islands Games. However, interest has been expressed for another Touch comp.”
Winner of the Plate Final – Vodafone; Winner of the Cup Final – KAP; Individual winners – Most valuable player of the Cup final was Conrad Piri of the KAPS team; Most Improved Female Player – Mona Tauraa from the NIKS women’s team and KAPS mixed team; Most Improved Male Player – George Ellis from the Tuanga Taporoporo team; Most Valuable Female Player – Rima Browne from the Nukz Power women’s and ICI mixed team; Most Valuable Male Player – Juwaan Terekia from the GAT men’s and ICI mixed team;
Youngest Player for both Women’s and Mixed – Nana Ngaroi from the FBI women’s and KAPS mixed team.