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Bulldogs through to semis, Panthers disqualified.

Wednesday 18 May 2011 | Published in Regional

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After two days of intense meetings the Cook Islands Rugby League Association has made a ruling on two controversial issues from last weekends knockout round competition.

CIRL secretary and chair of the league meetings held on Monday and Tuesday, Eddie Drollet, has confirmed that the Titikaveka Bulldogs reserve grade is still in the competition.

This is despite a call from some clubs to kick the Bulldogs out of the competition for not turning up for their scheduled knockout game on Saturday against leaders of the reserve grade the Arorangi Bears.

The Bulldogs were unable to take to the field for their game as up to 9 players in the squad are from the Seventh Day Adventist church that observes their Sabbath on Saturday.

Drollet confirmed that the team is still in the competition and despite losing by default to the Arorangi Bears last weekend, the 2nd ranked Bulldogs will lace up for their semi finals game this Friday.

They will play the Avatiu Eels reserve grade although the team were thrashed 52-0 by the Tupapa Panthers last Saturday.

However the Eels lodged a complaint, the second issue dealt with during the two-day meeting. They claimed the Panthers fielded a player that was not registered to their club and had played for the Takuvaine Warriors earlier in the year.

Drollet says this was deemed as a breach of the CIRL rules and as a result the Panthers have been disqualified and are out of the competition while the Eels have another chance at reaching the grand finals.

The Bulldogs and Eels reserve grade will be played on Friday at the BCI Stadium at 4.30pm and the remaining semi finals games will be played on Saturday.

Games on Saturday will kick off at 1pm with the under 13 Eels and Panthers taking to the BCI field first.

The under 16 Bears will meet the Eels at 2pm and at 3pm the under 19 Bears will take on the Panthers.

The main match of the semi finals will be between the Panthers and Sea Eagles starting at 4.30pm and the winner of this game will go through to the grand finals against the Eels.