More Top Stories

Rugby Union

Bigger and busier 2023: PM

31 December 2022

Rugby league

Moana target 2025 World Cup

11 November 2022

Panthers Edge out CIRARO to win Club Rugby 7s

Monday 4 September 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Other Sports, Rugby Union, Sports


Panthers Edge out CIRARO to win Club Rugby 7s
The mighty Panthers have emerged the victors of this weekend's Club Rugby 7's. MELINA ETCHES/23090311

The mighty Panthers have emerged the victors of this weekend's Club Rugby 7's on points differential, after ending up on a tie with Cook Islands Rarotonga (CIRARO) on the table with three wins each and a draw.

Panthers led by master-mind Viiga Reupena managed to dominate the tournament in their game play, however, their new speedy Gonzales on the block - Jone Baikeibau, stood out in the competition claiming the top try-scorer title of the tournament.

Darren Piri, coach of the Panthers would like to thank all the boys who played for the Panthers from Tupapa, Avatiu, Ngatangiia and Titikaveka.

“It was a good day for 7s, and thank you to the boys who came out to Muri and played, and to our Cook Islands players that made themselves available to play and be selected for the national team,” said Piri.

Five teams entered the competition: Cook Islands Rarotonga New Zealand (CIRNZ), Cook Islands Rarotonga (CIRARO), Panthers, Tabusoro A and Tabusoro B.

CIRARO coached by Andrew Iroa put up a strong fight against the Panthers in their earlier game play with tries coming from Nathan Nabou, James Kora and Brian Akava. However, the Panthers through their speedster Baikeibau, managed a hat-trick. The game ended up with a 19-all draw.

The CIRNZ team coached by Amosa Amosa also put in some great game-play against all the teams, along with Tabusoro B and Tabusoro A who were coached by Ilai Bedini.

The beautiful sun shining crispy cool weather against the picturesque beach backdrop at Nukupure Park in Muri, Ngatangiia provided the perfect venue for rugby lovers to watch some good footy in the Senior Men’s 7s competition on Saturday

The tournament provided the perfect platform for the national coaches to make the selections for the Cook Islands national 7's team earmarked to participate in the upcoming Oceania 7's tournament in October and the Pacific Games 7's tournament in November.

Cook Islands Rugby Union (CIRU) noted the competition was also an opportunity to see new talent coming through in the 7's, in preparation for the upcoming annual International 7's tournament that will be played at National Stadium in the first weekend of October.

The tournament followed a five team round robin format, the team with the most wins determining the winner of the competition.

CIRU would like to acknowledge and thank Tabusoro A, Tabusoro B and the Panthers teams for participating in the event to assist with providing game time for Cook Islands players for the national selections.

The union would also like to thank: Ngatangiia MP Tukaka Ama for providing the perfect venue for the Club 7's, the five 7s teams, coaches & management, referees & admin, Polynesian Media and CB Sports Official for game coverage, the volunteers and spectators for all your support for an event that unifies our community – meitaki ma’ata and God bless always. 

The results for the Raro Club Rugby 7s (Saturday 2nd September) are as follows. Points System (Win = 2 Points, Loss/Default = 0 Points).

CIRNZ Win 2, Loss 2, Draw 0, For 68, Against 39, Diff 29, Points 4; CIRARO Win 3, Loss 0, Draw 1, For 86, Against 24, Diff 62, Points 7; Panthers Win 3, Loss 0, Draw 1, For 135, Against 46, Diff 89, Points 7; Tabusoro A Win 0, Loss 4, Draw 0, For 5, Against 163, Diff -158, Points 0; Tabusoro B Win 1, Loss 3, Draw 0, For 64, Against 86, Diff -22, Points 2.

Round 1 Placings: 1st Panthers (winner by points differential), 2nd CIRARO, 3rd CIRNZ, 4th Tabusoro B, 5th Tabusoro A.    CIRU are now looking forward to the Tri-Nations tournament (Cook Islands Residents,  Tokouso - Samoa/Tonga, Tabusoro - Fiji), which will kick off this Saturday 9th September between Cook Islands Residents v Tokouso at Aretere Park in Avatiu.