Kukis among 1000 at tag

Wednesday 21 March 2018 | Published in Other Sports


Cook Islands representatives were part of the 1000 youngsters that converged in Auckland to participate in the Junior Oceania Tag Football (JOTF) tournament last week.

Held over a three-day period, the event attracted players from under-8s to under-18s, across 90 teams representing their island nations, such as Fiji, Niue, Samoa, Tonga and Tokelau.

The JOTF tournament is the second to be hosted by New Zealand Tag Football Incorporated (NZTFI), with the first also drawing more than 1000 participants.

“This competition recognises the growing popularity of tag football amongst the Pacific communities and celebrates the 10th official year under NZTFI,” a release said.

In the finals of the U14 competition, the Cook Islands were downed 2-4 by their Aotearoa Maori opponents.

At halftime, both sides sat evenly with one try a piece. However, the Maori side lifted the tempo in the second half to score a brace of tries and ultimately prevail.

Despite the loss, the Cook Islands are seen as one of the top sides in the world at the sport.

In 2016, the Cook Islands were named overall winners of the Oceania Indigenous Cup, which featured 23 teams from around the world.

This year is also a World Cup year, and 27 teams made up of Kukis from New Zealand and Australia are expected to attend.