Tupapa Panthers’ Peniasi Dakuwaqa tries to make a break against Arorangi Bears. 21091314
Local clubs are now shifting their focus to rugby 7s after the completion of 15s season on Saturday.
Tupapa Panthers retained the Rarotonga Club 15s title after
beating Arorangi Bears 32-13 in the Senior A final. In the Under-19 final,
Avatiu Eels defeated the Bears 29-17.
Panthers coach Darren Piri hailed his players for stepping
up and winning the title for the fourth consecutive year.
“We just wanted to come and play rugby. We didn’t want to do
what the opposition was doing, just focus on our own game and doing the basics
right,” Piri said.
“It’s really good to have the players turning up to training
(last week), they focused on little things like getting their lineouts and
scrummaging right to get themselves ready.
Arorangi Bears halfback Spoon Marsters sets up attack against Tupapa Panthers in the Rarotonga Club 15s Senior A final on Saturday at Victoria Park. The Panthers won 32-13. 21091315
“Winning the title for the fourth consecutive year is a
great achievement for the boys and the club.”
Piri said the team would now turn their focus to the 7s
competition to be held later in the year.
Arorangi Bears coach Kevin Iro said they lost the game in
the first 20 minutes when the Panthers managed to amass a good lead. In the
second half, both teams scored a try each.
“It was the first 20 minutes perhaps where we lacked
discipline and we can’t afford to do that against a quality side like Tupapa,”
“We just didn’t do enough and all credit to Tupapa, they
were a better and the dominant side. We made the mistake of kicking the ball to
their speed men too much and we paid the prize.
“But we are proud of our boys for a good season and making
it into the grand final. We just got to come back better and stronger.”
Tupapa Panthers players pose with the trophy after the win on Saturday. 21091317
In the early afternoon all the Under 9s and Under 11s clubs
– Tupapa Panthers, Arorangi Bears, Avatiu Eels and the Takuvaine Reds who
played Quick Rip Rugby – received prizes from Vodafone.
Cook Islands Rugby Union’s Ben Koteka said: “Thank you to
the Tupapa Rugby Club for hosting our finals, all the clubs and teams, coaches
and management, all our sponsors, media team, the referees, admin team, the
volunteers and all the spectators for all your support – meitaki ma’ata and God