Monday 31 October 2011 | Published in Regional
The Cook Islands national sevens squad has qualified to compete at the Wellington Sevens next year by placing fifth in the 10-team Oceania Sevens qualifiers in Samoa over the weekend.
The Cook Islands team got off to a slow start on the first day of the tournament at Apia Park in Samoa where torrential rain stemmed any chance of running rugby.
The Cooks regrouped and composed themselves for day two of the tournament.
After being slaughtered 41-0 by regional sevens giants Fiji, the Cooks went on to win crucial matches beating Papua New Guinea 10-0 and American Samoa 12-7 and confirming their spot for the Wellington leg of the 2012 IRB sevens circuit.
Local sevens star Koiatu Koiatu scored 2 tries in the final match against Samoa on a wet and muddy Apia Park and he was ably supported the four local based players being Sailosi Nagi, Mathew Titoa, Duane Gukisuva and Eddie Nicholas.
Remaining squad players were Ashley Drake, Kairan Mahia, Koiatu Koiatu, Richard Connal, Beau Mokotupu, Francis Takiari, Shane Tumahai-Fox, Tiakina Manga who were coached by Ramsey Tomokino.
The majority of these players will be turning out for the various teams preparing for this weekends Cook Islands International Sevens in Heaven tournament running from Thursday to Saturday November 3-5.
The final placing of teams after the weekends Oceania sevens qualifiers are 1st Samoa, 2nd Fiji, 3rd Tonga, 4th Australia, 5th Cooks Islands, 6th American Samoa, 7th PNG, 8th Niue, 9th New Caledonia and 10th Solomon Islands.
- Matariki Wilson