Touch teams do islands proud

Thursday August 06, 2020 Written by Published in Touch Rugby
Rima Browne from Ma‘uke was awarded Most Valuable Women’s Player at the Te Maeva Nui Touch Tournament on Tuesday.  KATRINA TANIRAU 20080528 Rima Browne from Ma‘uke was awarded Most Valuable Women’s Player at the Te Maeva Nui Touch Tournament on Tuesday. KATRINA TANIRAU 20080528

It was a fantastic afternoon of Te Maeva Nui touch footy at Avatiu Rugby field when 14 teams showcased their island colours and island pride.

The competition boasted two divisions: open men’s and open women’s.

In the men’s division, teams competed from Atiu, Aitutaki, Mangaia, Manihiki, Rakahanga, Rarotonga, Tabusoro and Aotearoa.

The women’s division consisted of teams from Atiu, Aitutaki, Mangaia, Mauke, Mitiaro and Rakahanga.  

Despite the late afternoon showers, it was a full-on day of pool games, play-offs and finals. 

All teams displayed great ability and skill from both experienced and new players to the game.

Daphne Brown from Cook Islands Touch Association said they were thrilled to see a number of teams with young players, which signals the development that is taking place in the sport.

The finals for both divisions proved to be the highlight of the day.   

In the women’s final was Aitutaki and Ma‘uke.  Both teams had a good spread of experience, speed and new players. 

However, it was Ma‘uke that settled into the game quicker and were able to guide their new players on attack and defence.  

Outstanding for Ma‘uke was Rima Browne. 

Ma‘uke ran out winners comfortably over Aitutaki with three touchdowns to Aitutaki’s one.

The men’s final saw Rarotonga take on Aitutaki. Both teams had pace and skills and traded tries tit for tat.

In the dying seconds of the game Aitutaki sneaked in to score a touchdown to equalise the score. 

As the match was then tied at two all at full time it required an extra time drop to decide the winner.

In the drop off Rarotonga was able to hold out Aitutaki’s attack and by this time both teams were down to four players. 

On attack Rarotonga ’s Conrad Piri saw a chance and threw a good pass to put his mate Geoff Halston into the gap to cross the try line for Rarotonga. The final score was Rarotonga 3 and Aitutaki 2.

Brown said it was a great day for the games at the Swamp with a huge turnout of players and spectators.

“All teams displayed a high standard of play and it made teams work hard to secure a berth in the finals,” she said.

Most Valuable Player awards were sponsored by Bank of Cook Islands and Vodafone. The MVP male player was won by Conrad Piri from Rarotonga and the Most Valuable Women’s Player went to Rima Browne of Mauke.

“Cook Islands Touch is very pleased with the success of the tournament,” Brown said.

“This tournament has definitely helped the islands prepare for the Cook Islands Games in October this year.  

“Congratulations to all the teams that entered the competition you did your islands proud. Kia Manuia for the Cook Islands Games.”

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