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Clash of the giants

Saturday 24 July 2010 | Published in Regional

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Can the Dragons fry the Eels or will

the elusive Eels give them the slip?

The Swamp in Avatiu will host today’s main match between the Eels and the Ngatangiia Dragons.

Both teams have been severely tested in the first round of games but they both deserve to be in first and second place in this grade.

The Eels have won their last four games – 44-7 against the Panthers, 20-18 against the Cowboys, 33-32 against a tough Bulls team and last week’s nail biting 8-3 victory over the Takuvaine Reds.

The Flying Dragons on the other hand have won or drawn their last four matches including a tight 12-10 win against the Cowboys, 22-8 walkover against the Reds, 20-0 against the Panthers and last week’s 16-all draw against the Bulls.

Both teams have the firepower to score tries from anywhere on the field and they love to play expansive games complimented by their mobile packs of forwards.

The Eels and Dragons have competitive, reliable ball winning forward packs led by active leaders in loose forwards Clive Nicholas (Eels) and Willie Kauvai Jnr (Dragons).

In the backs – man-for-man both backlines are evenly matched although on a dry field and on current form centre Sailosi Niagi of the Dragons will be the man to watch.

Although Niagi’s exploits could be minimised by the Eels’ defensively efficient Andy Kapi.

A high scoring match is predicted in today’s encounter with the final outcome of this match to be determined by the goal kicking fullbacks – watch for the opposing fullbacks Pakia Wichman for Dragons and the Eels’ Tairi Elikana and Clive Nicholas to determine the final result.

Be at the Avatiu swamp to witness the top of the table clash between the Eels and the Dragons.

Dragons: Pene Trego, John Mokotupu, George Fatefai, Phillip Taio, Maara Ioakopa, Phillip Hunter, Elisa Ravula, Willie Kauvai Jnr (Capt), Aiseli Manuquila, Daniel Toa, Taamore Tangata, Thomas Toa, Sailosi Niagi, Kevin Mapu, Pakia Wichman.

Eels: Eddie Tomokino, Sonny-Bill Foster, Alex Olah, Ngati Manuela, Teokotai Tuaivi Jnr, Clive Nicholas (Capt.), Lui Nicholas, Kunta Tom, Atu Bondini, Henry Taripo, Andy Kapi, Bruce Goldsworthy, Duane Gukisuva, Tairi Elikana.

In other matches to be played at the weekend – the Reds will host the Panthers at the Takuvaine field while the Cowboys will host their country brothers the Bulls at Raemaru Park.

- Ruck and Maul

Saturday 24 Arorangi vs Titikaveka at Arorangi: 2.15pm Women, Ref-Fraser Nooroa assisted by club officials, 2.50pm Under 16, Ref-Dan Munro assisted by club official, 4.10pm Senior A, Ref-Simiona Teiotu assisted by Fraser Nooroa and Dan Munro.

Saturday 24 Takuvaine vs Tupapa at Tupapa : 12.00pm Under 13, Ref-Tangi Toa assisted by club officials, 12.45pm Under 16, Ref- Vaivase Samania assisted by club officials, 1.50pm Under 19, Ref-Poto Ngaroi assisted by Mana Samania and Tereapii Murare, 3.05pm Senior B, Ref-Terry Piri assisted by Mana Samania and Tereapii Murare, 4.10pm Senior A, Ref-Tua Manea assisted by Terry Piri and Poto Ngaroi.

Saturday 24 Avatiu-Nikao vs Ngatangiia- Matavera at Avatiu: 12.00pm Under 13, Ref-Vania Tou assisted by club officials, 12.45pm Under 16, Ref-Ratu Mato assisted by club officials, 1.50pm Under 19, Ref-Billy Tuaivi assisted by Ratu Mato and Paul Peyroux, 3.05pm Senior B, Ref-Ben Koteka assisted by Tangi Toa and Paul Peyroux, 4.10pm Senior A, Ref-Pare Rongokea assisted by Arthur Emile and Vania Tou.