Monday 20 June 2011 | Published in Regional
The Arorangi Cowboys, Ngatangiia-Matavera Flying Dragons and Titikaveka Bulls registered the first wins at the weekends opening round of the 2011 rugby season.
At the Swamp for the CITC match of the week, the Eels outscored the Cowboys by 4 tries to 3. But it was the 2 well-struck 35m penalty kicks late in the second spell by Cowboys replacement back Ngatama Aniterea that allowed the Cowboys to extend their lead and defeat the Eels 28-24.
With little quality go forward ball the Eels almost stole the Cowboys show with just one point the difference in the score 25-24 to the Cowboys.
That was until Aniterea kicked his second penalty to extend the final score to 28-24.
As predicted it was the Cowboys forward pack that went about their business laying the foundation for the win with the Eels playing catch-up rugby throughout the match.
The Cowboys came out firing early in the match with two well earned tries that were a result of clever plays and weak Eels defence.
The Cowboys hardworking and nippy halfback Spoon Marster dotted down when the Eels defenders were asleep.
The second Cowboys try was scored by the sides speedy Rouru Une who sprinted down the side of the field and out stepped a number of Eels would-be-tacklers to score a beautiful try of his own.
Eels busy loose forward Clive Nicholas gave Eels supporters something to cheer about with a neat try which he scored from fly-kicking the loose ball over the opposition and winning the leg race for a well taken try.
But it was the Cowboys that left the field with more confidence at the half time break with the early lead 12-7.
With the Eels playing catch-up rugby throughout the game they were guilty of lapses of concentration and ill-discipline none more-evident than when the Eels had their powerhouse lock forward Louis Nicholas in the sin-bin early in the second half.
The Cowboys took full advantage of Nicholas absence to run in 10 points coming from another well deserved try by Spoon Marsters and a penalty goal to push their lead out to 22-7.
Thats when the Eels kicked into attack-mode to score two quick tries the first by Eels speedster Duane Gukisuva who outran his Cowboys defenders and the second by Maka Tereu to pull back the Cowboys lead to 17-22.
The Cowboys kept the pressure on and won a penalty for their efforts but not before Louis Nicholas made up to his team for being sent to the sin bin with a crashing try in between the post.
But it was all too little too late for the Eels at the Swamp as the Cowboys held on with two superb penalty kicks to take a well earned win in the first round of games.
Week one full results Eels vs Cowboys (Eels scores first) Senior A grade-24 vs 28, Senior B grade-Cowboys won by default, Under 19 grade-15 vs 5, Under 16 grade-10 vs 24, Under 13 grade-12 vs 17, Dragons vs Reds (Dragons scores first) Senior A grade-27 vs 10, Senior B grade-10 vs 15, Under 19 grade-Reds won by default, Under 16 grade-24 vs 12, Under 13 grade-30 vs 0, Bulls vs Panthers (Bulls scores first) Senior A-Bulls won by default, Senior B grade-23 vs 10, Under 19 grade-24 vs 19, Under 16 grade-0 vs 50, Under 13 grade-0 vs 52.