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Aitutaki take home sevens gold

Wednesday 15 April 2009 | Published in Regional

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Tuesday 14: The Aitutaki rugby sevens team have proved that their inclusion in the Cook Islands Games sevens competition was not a waste of time as they took out the gold medal of the event.

After losing to Takitumu in pool play (12-21), Aitutaki’s overall team fitness and X-factor ensured that they turned the tables at grand finals time with Aitutaki comprehensively defeating Takitumu 31-21 to win gold.

With Takitumu leading at the halftime break 14-12, Aitutaki’s second half tactic of playing Takitumu deep in their half proved to be the winning of the game, despite the occasional line-break by Takitumu big guns Bruce Goldsworthy and Sailosi Niagi.

Aitutaki were superbly led by coach/player Messine Manapori and well supported by speedsters Alex Roa, Etu Davey and also hardworking Teu Paerau. Congratulations to Aitutaki for being able to retain back-to-back CI Games sevens titles, after winning the last CI Games sevens staged in 2004.

In the bronze-medal playoff Te Au O Tonga were able to defeat a fast-finishing Puaikura 26-24. CIRU would like to thank all stakeholders for their support which ensured a successful

tournament. - CIRU

Pool Games: Te Au O Tonga 33 vs Atiu 0, Aitutaki 12 vs Takitumu 21, Te Au O Tonga 22 vs Puaikura 7, Aitutaki 26 vs Mauke 7, Atiu 10 vs Puaikura 24, Takitumu 34 vs Mauke 0. Semi finals: Te Au O Tonga 7 vs Aitutaki 29, Puaikura 14 vs Takitumu 33.

Bronze play-off: Te Au O Tonga 26 vs Puaikura 24. Gold/silver play-off: Aitutaki 31 vs Takitumu 21.