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Saturday 12 August 2023 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Rugby Union, Sports


Visitors ‘run out of steam’
New Zealand’s Tairua Rugby Football Club takes on Rarotonga Selection XV at Victoria Park on Thursday. Rarotonga won 36-11. LOSIRENE LACANIVALU/23081133/23081134

The Rarotonga Selection XV side held their ground, beating the visiting New Zealand Tairua Rugby Football Club 36-11 on Thursday.

Cook Islands Rugby Union development manager Ben Koteka said the final scoreline did not do justice to the efforts of the Tairua team, who played with plenty of heart at Victoria Park in Tupapa.

“As expected, the Tairua team, who play in the Thames Valley competition in New Zealand, unfortunately they did run out of steam in the final quarter of this match,” Koteka said.

It was in the final quarter of this match that the Rarotonga Selection XV (RSXV) were able to score two converted pick and go tries to their bigger forward pack that bolstered the final result.

Koteka thanked Papa Derek Rope for bringing the Tairua team over to help with rugby development and the golf fundraiser held yesterday for the Pacific Games.

“Great to see popular ex-1980s All Black star Hika ‘The Hooker from Ngongotaha’ Reid at this match, offering his support and encouragement as well,” he said.

“Great to see some of the younger RSXV teenagers like Ryan Daniels, Taio Taio and Alistair Newbigging participate at this level.”

Koteka said the best players for Tairua were their livewire flanker Shane Johnson and solid inside centre and goal kicker Logan Matai.

For the local team, strong-running winger Rudi Sifa, who scored a brace of tries, and number 8 Totoa Tuia stood out.

Koteka further thanked Tupapa Rugby Club for the use of their facilities and staff, and also for the post-match kaikai that was enjoyed by all.


Rarotonga Selection XV: 36 (Tries: Rudi Sifa [2], Apollo Johnson, Faafoi Lualua, Alistair Newbigging and Totoa Tuia. Conv: Daniel Toa [3]) Tairua [NZ]: 11 (Try: Cade Elliot. Pen: Logan Matai [2])