Monday 17 October 2011 | Published in Regional
The Avatiu Eels were crowned tournament one club rugby sevens champions at the Swamp on Saturday after defeating a tenacious Tupapa Panthers 10-5 for the cup.
The Eels sealed the cup with a late try from new import from the Dragons Sailosi Nagi, set up by a fine Clive Nicholas break.
The fired up Panthers managed to keep the Eels in check in the first half for a 5-all tie at the half time break of the cup final match.
Tries in the first half were scored by Louis Moemai of the Panthers and Duane Gukisuva of the Eels.
This match looked to be heading for extra-time until Nagi, who had been a workhorse for the Eels all afternoon, dotted down for slick Eels.
The Ngatangiia Dragons took out the plate final of tournament one winning 17-12 over the determined Atiu Warriors.
The Dragons big mobile forward George Speight Fatefahi was outstanding for the Dragons as he led his troops to victory against a resilient Atiu Warriors team.
Veteran utility player Kena Teamoke and side-stepping college student Gero Toki were the pick of the Atiu Warriors as they send the message out to club teams that they will be a constant threat on the club rugby sevens scene.
The weekend is week 3 of the CITC Rarotonga club sevens tournament and the first week of tournament two to be played at the Ngatangiia rugby field.
The local tournaments are all part of getting players accustomed to the full on schedule of rugby sevens tournament leading up the main event of the year the International Sevens in Heaven tournament presented by CITC to be staged between November 3 and 5. For more photos, see p12.
Full results Panthers 34 vs Atiu 0 (quarter final), Eels won by default against Police (quarter final), Cowboys 26 v Dragons 7 (quarter final), Bulls 0 vs Reds 19 (quarter final), Police 17 vs Dragons 21 (plate semi final), Atiu 19 vs Bulls 5 (plate semi final), Panthers 14 vs Reds 5 (cup semi final), Eels 22 vs Cowboys 7 (cup semi final), Dragons 17 vs Atiu 12 (plate final), Panthers 5 vs Eels 10 (cup final).