Members of the Cook Islands Vaine Moana team on their way to Papua New Guinea over the weekend. The side will play their lone match against Papua New Guinea Orchids before the Aitu versus the Bati clash on Saturday. CIRL/23101632
Cook Islands halfback Tevin Arona has been cleared of a spinal fracture after being injured in the opening set of tackles in the Pacific Championships clash with Papua New Guinea.
Arona, who plays for Auckland Vulcans in New Zealand,
was stretchered from Santos National Football Stadium in a neck brace and
medical staff kept him immobilised while they assessed his condition.
He was later taken to Port Moresby International
Hospital for precautionary scans and is reported to have suffered a facial
fracture in the incident.
Cook Islands prop Makahesi Makatao played just five
minutes of the match before he was forced off with a suspected pectoral injury.
Cook Islands Aitu made a losing start to their Pacific
Championships campaign going down to Papua New Guinea Kumuls 10-46 on Saturday
night (Cook Islands time).
The Kumuls led 30-0 at the break.
The Karmichael Hunt-coached Cook Islands side showed
vast improvement in the second half to leak only 16 points, while Esom Ioka and
Steven Marsters restored some pride with four-pointers of their own, which
importantly also improved the differential outcome for their side.
Cook Islands Aitu will play Fiji Bati in their second
match this Saturday at the Santos National Football Stadium in Poer Moresby.
The match will be Fiji Bati’s first clash in the championships.
The Cook Islands Vaine Moana (women’s side) will play
their lone match against Papua New Guinea Orchids before the Aitu versus the
Bati clash on Saturday.
Cook Islands Aitu squad: Tevin Arona, Rhys Dakin, Esom Ioka, Kadiyae Ioka, Kayal Iro, Makahesi Makatoa, Justin Estall-Makirere, Steven Marsters, Esan Marsters, Alvin Maungaati, Davvy Moale, Takai Mokohar, Malachi Morgan, Rua Ngatikaura, Pride Pettersen-Robati, Lucky Pokipoki, Reuben Porter, William Samuel, Brad Takairangi, Zane Tetevano, Isaiah Cooper-Tetevano.