More Top Stories

Rugby Union

Bigger and busier 2023: PM

31 December 2022

Rugby league

Moana target 2025 World Cup

11 November 2022

Cook Islands ranked top Pacific Island at 2023 World Bowls Championships

Thursday 14 September 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in Bowling, Sports


Cook Islands ranked top Pacific Island at 2023 World Bowls Championships

The jubilant Cook Islands World Bowls team have returned home, ranked the highest Pacific Island team at the 2023 World Bowls Championship that was held on the Gold Coast, Australia.

Currently playing at Club Robina on the Gold Coast in the World Singles Champion of Champion tournament are Tai Jim and Tere Daniel, both players are being managed by Phil Urlich and Mene Rennie.

New Zealand journalist, Paul Neazor writes the Week Two Team Review of the Cooks at the World Bowls.

Following is a summary of his article which can be read in its entirety @Cook Islands Bowls.

During Week Two of the World Bowls Championships, the Cook Islands team achieved notable results and secured a prominent position among the 44 participating teams.

All four combinations representing the Cooks continued to perform well during the second stage of the tournament.

Royden Aperau contested the men’s singles, drawing a tough section – although none were easy – and being handed a lop-sided draw which meant he had a challenging road to qualification.

In essence, he had to win all his first seven games, because the two real heavyweights, Malaysia and Scotland, were among his last three games, as well as another serious contender in Jersey.

Although he experienced setbacks with losses to Markus Merz of Switzerland and Charlie Herbert of the USA, as well as a gruelling loss to Malaysia, Aperau showcased improved skills compared to his previous performance at the Oceania Challenge.

Despite finishing with a five-win, four-loss record, he received positive feedback from coaches and managers, indicating his progress and commendable efforts.

However, Aperau was a distinctly better player at this tournament than he had been at the Oceania Challenge, making far fewer avoidable errors.

Here, he was content to scrap for ones if necessary and that was never more evident than in the Malaysia game, which had reached 11-11 after 18 ends.

A number of coaches and managers commented on his play: ‘Your man is in good form’. Aperau had clearly worked on his game, and it showed.

He finished with a five-win, four-loss record in a strong field of the world’s best singles players and could be pleased with his efforts, for which even the sternest critic would give him a B+ at worst.

In the women's pair event, although Emily Jim and Tiare Jim finished fourth in their pool, they displayed remarkable mental resilience.

Despite a disrupted start in which they received a default and a bye in the first two rounds, they fought through closely contested matches and secured victories.

Tiare's exceptional play was particularly noteworthy, considering the emotional impact of a disappointing outcome in the fours' programme. With Emily's steady performance and Tiare's determination, the pair managed to overcome challenges and secure wins against strong teams. Their fortitude and ability to adapt contributed to a strong campaign.

The women's triples team, consisting of Philly Akaruru, Rima Strickland, and Tai Jim, faced a campaign marked by unfortunate circumstances.

Despite a promising start, the team received news of an emergency involving Philly Akaruru's mother, which understandably affected her focus and precision in subsequent matches.

The team couldn't compensate for her performance, resulting in defeats and an early exit from contention.

However, their ability to maintain a balanced record under such challenging circumstances demonstrated mental strength and courage.

The men's four team, composed of Aidan Zittersteijn, Adoni Wichman Rairoa, Taiki Paniani, and Teora Turua, emerged as the success story of the 2023 World Championships.

They began strongly with victories against South Africa and a closely contested match against New Zealand.

Despite a setback against Zimbabwe, they rallied and won their last three matches, securing a leading position in the "matches lost" column.

In the quarter-final, they faced a formidable opponent in Scotland, showcasing their resilience and challenging the experienced team.

Although they narrowly missed advancing, their performance set a benchmark for future international events.

The four has set the benchmark for the next major international event and, with the same players clearly the basis of teams in the immediate future, their achievement takes on more importance than even a top-eight finish on its own implies.

Overall, the Cook Islands team displayed commendable performances across various events, with notable individuals and teams making their mark in the World Bowls Championships.

-Cook Islands Bowls