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Ready, steady, Touch!

Thursday 14 April 2022 | Written by Rashneel Kumar | Published in Sports

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Ready, steady, Touch!
Touch players line up at The Swamp. Picture: RONNIE SI’ULEPA/ 22041314 Picture: RONNIE SI’ULEPA/ 22041314

Cook Islands Touch Association received a positive response from their clubs with majority confirmed to participate in the weekly open and mixed competitions resuming next week.

The weekly touch competition was one of the sports events affected by the suspension of contact sport due to Covid-19 cases in Rarotonga.

Government lifted the suspension earlier this month but required participants to undertake rapid antigen tests (RATs) resulting in sporting federations complaining about the costs and logistical issues.

Prime Minister Mark Brown last week announced that from today, RAT tests will no longer be required for contact sport in Rarotonga.

Cook Islands Touch this week sent emails out to their clubs to gauge their interest.

The email also confirmed that their 2022 season will resume on Wednesday, April 20 at the Avatiu field.

“All grades will be allowed to resume the competition pending the number of teams that decide to continue,” the email said.

“The season will be shortened to six weeks (finishing end of May) - the draw will be redone to reflect this change.

“To avoid the season dragging out even more, if you are unable to field a team for your scheduled game you will forfeit that game. However, CITA are thinking of a way to avoid your team being too disadvantaged on the points table (e.g. instead of getting 0 points for the loss you may get 1 point).”

Association president Julz Westrupp said they were still deciding on the best approach and will confirm the draws and the format before the season resumes on Wednesday.

The confirmed teams as of 4pm yesterday include:

  • 18s – Nukz Power, BITG (waiting on Team ATT, Palmerston has pulled out)
  • Marsters – all 4 teams have confirmed
  • Mixed – 007, GAT, Nukz Power (waiting on Buffalo Bears and Team ATT, Evolution has pulled out)
  • Men – Nukz, Power, Atiu, GAT (waiting on Team ATT, Evolution and Palmerston has pulled out)
  • Women – FBI, Nukz Power, Nikz (waiting on Team ATT and Bounty)

Westrupp said: “The response has been good. We do have good cash prizes up for grabs thanks to our two sponsors, Bank of the Cook Islands and Vodafone.”

Meanwhile the Cook Islands Rugby League will make their final decision on their season early next week following reports that two premier men’s clubs have pulled out of the competition.