Wednesday 19 August 2009 | Published in Regional
Avatiu 20, Ngatangiia 11
Takuvaine 26, Tupapa 22
Arorangi 31, Titikaveka 14
Tuesday 18: Avatiu put a dampener on Ngatangiia-Matavera’s end-of-round senior rugby match on Saturday with a gritty 20-11 win over the Flying Dragons at Muri.
The home side actually crossed the line less than 10 minutes to go when the score was 15-11.
But the try was disallowed after an incident of foul play was reported by the assistant referee to match referee Simiona Teiotu.
Immediately after the incident, Avatiu struck back with Terry Piri collecting a chip kick and running almost 50 metres to score in the left hand corner and put the game out of reach.
Right on full time, the home team opted to kick for goal to bridge the seven-point margin for a bonus point but the attempt went astray.
With Piri at first five-eighth and Teokotai ‘Billy’ Tuaivi Jnr directing play from either the number eight or scrum half position, the Flying Dragons had very few opportunities to score in the first half, with the Dragons midfield pairing of Usa Mato and Sailosi Niagi kept in check
The home side forward pack led by George Speight tried the pick-and-go tactics throughout, but they were repelled by stout Avatiu defence.
The blustery, cold wind blowing off the lagoon also made kicking difficult for both sides.
Ironically if Ngatangiia-Matavera had won Saturday’s match, it would have won all its games in the second round – a feat it has not accomplished in over 30 years.
In other A grade games at the weekend, Takuvaine upset Tupapa on their home ground with a 26-22 win. Takuvaine backline ‘general’ and centre Ailaoa Samania a hero with two tries.
Good to see some of our Aitutaki players on the field with centres Mou George and Ben Samuel in Tupapa-colours, both having strong games for the black and whites.
Arorangi were able to win their match 31-14 against Titikaveka, after both sides went into the halftime break at 14-all.
We now look forward to this weekend’s knockout top four semi finals to be held at Arorangi and Ngatangiia. - Moana Moeka’a mMatariki Wilson