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Rugby season culminates with 7s comp

Tuesday 8 November 2022 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in Rugby Union, Sports

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Rugby season culminates with 7s comp
Avatiu Eels’ Maeva Robati against Tupapa Panthers in the final. Robati was awarded the best player. 22110707

Cook Islands Rugby Union concluded its 2022 season with the annual Raro 7s tournament over the weekend.

Despite the eleventh hour changes to draws due to teams pulling out, the Union managed to put together the tournament with only 11 teams competing across three divisions – five in men’s and three each in women’s and under-18 men’s divisions.

The two-day tournament kicked off on Friday with the preliminary round matches followed by the knockouts on Saturday, at the National Stadium in Nikao.

Tupapa Panthers’ Apu Kamana makes a dash for the try line against Arorangi Bears in the U18 final on Saturday. 22110704
Tupapa Panthers’ Apu Kamana makes a dash for the try line against Arorangi Bears in the U18 final on Saturday. 22110704
Tamaiva Mateariki for the Avatiu Eels making a break in the final
Tamaiva Mateariki for the Avatiu Eels making a break in the final
Avatiu Eels players with tournament officials and sponsor rep Rahul Sharma of ANZ. 22110711
Lady Bears players and management with tournament officials and sponsor rep. 22110710
Lady Bears players and management with tournament officials and sponsor rep. 22110710
Referees who officiated the matches at the tournament pose for a photo. 22110708
Referees who officiated the matches at the tournament pose for a photo. 22110708
Arorangi Bears U18 team with tournament officials and sponsor rep. 22110709
Arorangi Bears U18 team with tournament officials and sponsor rep. 22110709

The unbeaten Avatiu Eels coached by Clive Nicholas won the men’s division beating former champions Tupapa Panthers 17-0 in the final on Saturday.

In the women’s division, Lady Bears were crowned the new champions after the Arorangi-based side beat 2021 champs Lady Panthers by 17-0.

In the Under-18 competition final, Bears defeated Panthers 31–7.

Cook Islands Rugby Union development manager Ben Koteka thanked the teams and sponsors for helping them stage the 33rd edition of the tournament.

“During these testing times thank you to all our teams, players and coaches – a special mention going out to the Aitutaki contingent who contributed three teams – brilliant support from Aitutaki,” Koteka said.

“Meitaki atupaka, to all our sponsors – Vodafone, Te Aponga Uira, Ministry of Culture, Edgewater Resort & Spa, Island Car & Bike Hire, CISNOC, Cook Islands Building Supplies, Tourism CI, CI General Transport, Hawaii-Pacific Maritime, Raro Xpo, CITV, The Islander Hotel, Vaima water, Red Cross, Ministry of Health, ANZ Bank  and Minister of Sport Honourable Mac Mokoroa for his continued contribution to the tournament.’

“Truly grateful for your continued support to ensure we have been able to celebrate Raro Rugby 7s into its 33rd year. Not forgetting the great assistance from the NZ Referees/physio – Paul, Steve and Moe, all our local referee, Tanya our physio from NZ – thank you for your valuable contribution, our ball boys, bench officials, judiciary and administrators, to our tournament coordinator – Jessie and her hard working team, meitaki ma’ata and kia manuia to you all.”

Results

M Panthers 5 Avatiu 31, M Yalovata A 12 Aitutaki 14, U18 Panthers 10 Bears 27, W Panthers 22 Aitutaki 0, M Aitutaki 0 Panthers 41, M Avatiu 47 Yalovata B 10, U18 Bears 24 Aitutaki 0, W Panthers 0 Bears 24, M Yalovata B      12 Aitutaki 24, M Panthers 0 Yalovata A 14. W        Bears 24 Aitutaki 0, M Yalovata A 52 Yalovata B 7, M Aitutaki 7 Avatiu    42, U18 Aitutaki 5 Panthers 5, M Avatiu 26 Yalovata A 12, M Yalovata B 0 Panthers 53, U18 Bears 31 Panthers 7, W Bears 17 Panthers 0, M Avatiu 17 Panthers 0.