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Parliamentary rugby clash ends in 15-all draw

Thursday 3 November 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Rugby Union, Sports

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Parliamentary rugby clash ends in 15-all draw
After a closely fought game, the New Zealand Parliamentary Rugby Team and the Cook Islands squad with the referees pose for a team photo. 22103001

The closely hard-fought rugby match between the New Zealand Parliamentary and the Cook Islands side over the weekend ended in a 15-all draw.

Minister of Sports Vaine (Mac) Mokoroa captained the local side with league legend Kevin Iro as vice-captain.

Captain of the New Zealand First XV was Mike Woodhouse, the National Member of Parliament. He was supported by co-captains Mark Mitchell and Hon Damien O’Connor.

The intense game played in four 15 minutes quarters saw the Cooks lead until the dying minute when New Zealand equalised.

Cook Islands coach George Williamson said the game was a “tight, good rapid game”.

The intensity of the game had frustrated locals passing remarks from the sidelines, however, the referees soldiered on with the task of officiating the game.

“They (referees) are the sole judges and we do apologise for our attitudes, the referees did a great job,” said Williamson.

“We are also grateful for Kevin Iro for coming out to play – he was also selected best player – and all the guys who turned up,” Williamson said.

The Sir Terepai Maoate Trophy for the competition is kept at the New Zealand High Commission’s residence, he added.

Former All Black Tamati Ellison, Cook Islanders Alfred Ngaro (former NZ MP) and Thomas Tarurongo Wynne also featured for the NZ side.

Ngatangiia MP Tukaka Ama and his team hosted the turou welcome for the visitors at the Ngatangiia/Matavera clubhouse before the start of the game.

After the game the guests were provided dinner and cultural entertainment by Mark Short and his family dance team.

On Monday the New Zealand team picked up discarded trash through town, doing their bit to help keep the community clean.

Some members departed on Monday evening including Michael Woodhouse.

Yesterday the rest of the team had cultural marae tours and visited the vaka carving project at Mike Tavioni’s gallery.

More community work is scheduled for the team including a school visit to Apii Takitumu before they head back on Friday.

The New Zealand Parliamentary Rugby team chairperson is Barry Manning, secretary - Suzanne Yee, treasurer - Steve Bradshaw and team management –Richard Guy, John Cribb, Greg Betham and Sean Rota.