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State of Origin series decider

Saturday 29 June 2024 | Written by Solomone Taukei | Published in League, Sports

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State of Origin series decider
In the first leg, Town Blues overcame Country Maroons 20-16 in extra time play. The Maroons bounced back in game two to narrowly defeat the Blues 32-26. The decider will be held this afternoon at Nukupure Park in Muri. CIRL/24062822

The Cook Islands Rugby League State of Origin series will shift to Nukupure Park in Muri today after the Country Maroons’ comeback win against the Town Blues at Terevete Park in Avatiu last week.

This week’s game promises to be even more thrilling as both teams will field their top players, who were rested in the second round.

In the first leg, Town Blues overcame Country Maroons 20-16 in extra time play. The Maroons bounced back in game two to narrowly defeat the Blues 32-26.

Both coaches are expected to be highly strategic with their approaches, as their decisions will significantly impact the flow of the game.

Maroons’ coach Dion Nepia praised his team’s recent performance but highlighted areas for improvement.

Nepia said: “We looked at a few things we needed to change in our attack, and I felt we executed things well in patches. We still gave away cheap points, so that will be something we need to address.”

“They will have their big guns come back into the side for the decider, the likes of Tua (Ravula), Tevita (Niusama), Oz (Tunupopo) presumably, but we'll see how we go," he said.

Coach Nepia is set to produce a strong team today with the likes of his first line-up in the first and second rounds of games.

On the other side, Blues co-coach Clive Nicholas acknowledged their shortcomings and outlined their plan for the decisive match.

Nicholas emphasised the need for strategic adjustments and disciplined execution to counter the Maroons’ strengths.

In the women’s division, the Town Whites have secured the Conan Cup after defeating the Country Blacks in two strong games within the last two weeks.

The Country Blacks will be looking to redeem themselves in the final match against the impressive Whites.

Fixtures

1.15pm U12; 2.15pm Women Town Whites-Country Blacks, 3.30pm Town Blues-Country Maroons.