Friday 17 February 2023 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in League, Sports
The Bears fielded two teams at the League Nines in Paradise, signaling good depth in their squad for the 13s competition.
But coach Bobby Hansen said most of the players who featured for them in last month’s tournament have returned home to New Zealand and Australia, leaving the team struggling with numbers.
“We managed to put two teams for the Nines, our main team and a second team with those who couldn’t make the first team. However most of those players have returned and we are pretty much starting with a whole new team from the Nines,” Hansen said.
Despite the setback the team remains upbeat and hopes for a good start against a struggling Bulldogs.
“It’s our first game of the season and we will take a step at a time aiming for the big goal of the grand final.”
The Bulldogs lost their opening match to Ngatangiia Matavera Sea Eagles 10-20 at Teimurimotia Park last week Friday.
Coach Meti Noovao said they were struggling like other clubs “in numbers and attendance at trainings” but looking forward to their second clash of the season.
“We had a pretty good training during the week, we did fitness on Tuesday which was the telling point in our first game and we also focused on our game defence, making sure we move up and put the pressure during the whole game.”
Both teams are calling on their fans to come out in numbers and support them.
In the feature premier match this week, Tupapa Panthers will take on the Sea Eagles at Victoria Park. The Panthers lost to Avatiu Nikao Eels 8-38 in round one.
Meanwhile in the opening women’s match, Lady Panthers will take on Lady Bulldogs at Victoria Park at 5pm this afternoon.
Today – 5pm Premier Arorangi Bears-Titikaveka Bulldogs at Raemaru Park, 5pm Women’s Lady Panthers-Lady Bulldogs at Victoria Park.
Tomorrow at Victoria Park – 9am Junior Development, 1.30pm U14 Panthers-Sea Eagles, 2.30pm U16 Panthers-Eels, 3.30pm U19 Panthers-Eels, 5pm Panthers-Sea Eagles.