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Battle of the Tornados and Titans

Friday 13 January 2012 | Published in Regional


The Arorangi Bears rugby league club is all fired up for the 2012 season after a bone crunching State of Origin battle at Raemaru Park.

In its third year the State of Origin rugby league clash was originally organised to give Arorangi youth something to focus on during the Christmas and New Year break.

At the start we organised this to get our kids off the street and away from boozing, says Bears president Pare Rongokea.

The event has now become the first hit-out for the club ahead of the rugby league season which this year kicks off on February 4.

To form the two teams, the Puaikura district is split down the middle with players living between Blackrock and the Friendly Mart store coming together under the team name of

Titans and players living between Friendly Mart and Rutaki formed the Tornados.

During the week before Christmas the club held its first of two State of Origin matches.

Team Titans, stacked with the majority of the districts young guns including Robert Heather Jnr, Ovain Teokoitu, Peter Kermode, Geoffrey Akanoa, Tian Mataora and Andrew Purua and boosted by the experienced heads of Francis Smith and Danny Heather took out the first game against the Tornados 24-12.

The second battle between the two teams was played out on Wednesday in what was a fantastic body-on-the line game.

While the game was a mate against mate affair there was plenty of intensity in the game and a few heated moments rarking up a decent crowd at Raemaru Park.

The Tornados, featuring some of the clubs experienced players and a few young legs, were determined to draw the series but it was sprightly young Ovain Teokoitu of the Titans team that touched down first before both sides traded tries.

Played in four 20 minute quarters the Titans were up 20-4 before stepping it up a notch in the last two quarters to take out the match and the series 44-8.

Pare Rongokea says from the two teams a 26-man strong Bears A grade team will be selected and they are keen to have a few more hit-outs with other clubs ahead of the season start.

The Bears hope a number of other clubs take up their challenge for a pre-season game which Rongokea says will benefit both clubs.