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Tight battles and try-saving tackles

Monday 18 March 2024 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Sports, Touch Rugby


Tight battles and try-saving tackles
Team Outlaws beat 007 6-4 and Huffin & Puffin 10-1. Cook Islands Touch/24031706

There are two more games left for this third round of the 2024 Touch Rugby Competition before the teams’ progress to playoffs.

On Monday of last week at the National Stadium, on field 1 in the ladies category, team Nikz faced off against Bounty.

Despite both teams being short on players, they still managed to score tries. Touch president Julieanne (Julz) Westrupp said it was a close game for most of the time until Bounty decided to win and end the match.

The final score was 7-5 to Bounty.

The second women’s match was a clash between the top-ranked Nukz Power and the FBI women’s teams.

Westrupp reported that Nukz Power emerged victorious with a dominant performance, scoring 11 tries by capitalising on turnovers when FBI players turned their backs or took breathers.

She said that despite the significant difference in their standings, both teams displayed remarkable resilience and skill on the field.

“Nukz Power played a structured game, particularly evident in their strategic exits. Their cohesive gameplay kept the pressure on the FBI throughout the match. On the other hand, the FBI with only seven players did come with its challenges, but they fought until the end,” she said.

“Despite their struggles, they managed to complete their sets of six, showcasing their determination and perseverance, and sneaking on one try before the full game hooter.”

Westrupp said one standout player for FBI was Keziah Lewis, who put in a great effort with diving try-saving touches that prevented Nukz Power from extending their lead even further.

In the end, Nukz Power’s structured play and teamwork secured them a well-deserved win.

In the men’s category, Nukz Power faced GAT and struggled due to a lack of players, forcing them to use three under-12 players in their team.

Westrupp said brothers King and Trevon Kae scored tries, but GAT emerged victorious with a score of 10-3.

Warriors defeated KAPs in the other men’s match by a score of 9-8.

The playoffs will see the 1st place team play against the 4th place team, and the 2nd place team play against the 3rd place team. The winners will advance to the finals, while the losers will compete for third place.

In the mixed competition held on Wednesday, team Outlaws played double matches against 007 and Huffin & Puffin. Outlaws won both games despite missing the skilled Oscar Wichman, who left to represent the Cook Islands in football.

Westrupp said Puna Hiro led the team, utilising their female players in the centre at times. Netballer Nicol Tiaore scored tries and made good breaks.

“Other ladies that were just as good were Romey Rauraa, Monica Wichman and Steph Nooroa, all agile athletes from other codes. And to add some flair and fun to the play was Maeva Mateariki who plays with heart, laughter and humour.”

The Outlaws beat 007 6-4 and Huffin & Puffin 10-1.

Westrupp said Outlaws are a strong team and a serious contender for the mixed competition trophy.

In the Nukz Power versus CISNOC match, the return of Nukz team leaders Vernon Horn and Sam Tatuava ignited the team, leading to a number of tries scored.

Only having two women, mother and daughter Westrupp and Tashi, meant playing with only five players for the entire game. Despite fatigue, the team persevered and played to the very end.

The final score was 12-2 to Nukz Power.

Team JAWs defeated KAPs, led by Vou Williams who guided his team with patience. The final score was 9-6.

Westrupp said there are four more weeks of round robin games in the mixed competition before the playoffs and finals on April 17.


Today: 5pm Field 1 KAPs vs Nukz Power, Field 2 Warriors vs GAT; 5.30pm F1 FBI-Nikz, F2 Nukz Power-Bounty.