Avatiu Eels’ latest inclusion Sai Nagi tackles an Aitutaki Sharks player in the opening match of the 2021 Raro Cars Rugby League Competition at The Swamp yesterday. Eels won 48-22. Picture: LOSIRENE LACANIVALU/21021266
Defending champions Tupapa Panthers will take on minnows Titikaveka Bulldogs in their opening match this afternoon.
Avatiu Eels made a grand start in the 2021 Raro Cars Rugby League
Competition beating Aitutaki Sharks in the opening match of the season last
The Albert Nicholas-coached side overcame the Sharks 48-22 at The
Swamp in Avatiu.
In a close first half, both teams were locked at 14-all and after
a strong pep talk from the returning coach, who led the team to consecutive
wins in the past seasons, the Eels picked up momentum and slipped away with
48-22 win. The Sharks, who are based in Rarotonga this season and will be
playing their home matches at Happy Valley Field, is led by Teokotai “Billy
Bush” Tuaivi and Bruce Goldsworthy.
Despite the loss, the team put on a spirited performance and will
look to bounce back in their round two match next week.
A winning start is what the Eels needed to set a strong foundation
for their title campaign.
The team laced with experienced players will be hoping to maintain
their winning form in the coming matches.
In the remaining round two matches to be played today, Ngatangiia
Sea Eagles will host Arorangi Bears at Nukupure Park while Titikaveka Bulldogs
will take on defending champions Tupapa Panthers at Teimurimotia Park.
Panthers coach Darren Piri expects a strong challenge from the
Bulldogs but remains optimistic of a winning start.
The side enjoyed a good preseason, winning the Raro Cars League
Nines in Paradise last month. The club fielded two teams in that tournament.
Piri is pleased with the depth in his squad and the preparation so
“This is just the start of the season and we are looking forward
to a good game.”
The Sea Eagles versus the Bears match will kick off at 5pm while
the Panthers versus the Bulldogs match starts at 4pm.
12.15pm U10 Eagles-Bears at Nukupure Park – Ngatangiia (half
Eagles-Bears Nukupure Park – Ngatangiia; 1pm U14 Eagles-Bears at
Nukupure Park – Ngatangiia, 2pm U19 Eagles-Bears at Nukupure Park – Ngatangiia;
3.30pm Reserves Eagles-Bears at Nukupure Park – Ngatangiia; 5pm Premier
Eagles-Bears at Nukupure Park – Ngatangiia.
12pm U10 Eels-Panthers at Aretere Park – Avatiu, U12 Eels-Panthers
at Aretere Park – Avatiu; 12.45pm U14 Eels-Panthers at Aretere Park – Avatiu.
4pm Premier Bulldogs-Panthers at Temurimotia Park – Titikaveka.