The Ngatangiia Flying Dragons team, under the leadership of coach/player Amene Rangi, has been one of the form teams of this year’s senior A competition and will face a winless Tupapa Panthers in today’s CITC main match of the week.
With a mobile and very competitive pack led by hard working number eight Willie Kauvai Jnr, assisted by busy-bodies Phillip Hunter and Phillip Taio, this forward pack has been tested over the last two weeks and resulting in two close fought victories against the Cowboys (12-10) and the Warriors (22-8).
It is obvious that this team’s strength lies in their backline sparked by their ‘Fijian’ midfield of Sailosi Niagi and Usa Sivo and throw in the likes of light stepping Pakia Wichman and Daniel Toa and you have a backline who can score tries from anywhere on the park.
The Panthers on the other hand have yet to register any wins to date and any further losses could severely hamper their chances of staying in touch with the leaders of this division.
The last two weeks have been tough but they are confident that with a relatively young team of players, they could surprise.
Although the Dragons have been on a winning streak of late, there has been a lack of front-row depth at scrum time – with the Panthers’ backs to the wall, could the Panthers expose this obvious front row weakness and surprise the visiting Dragons today?
Be at the Tupapa Field to find out!
Panthers Snr A: Ngametua Ioane, Tupou Faireka Jnr, Bernard Okotai, Robert Sword, Des Wildin (Capt.), Darren Manu, Pokoina Turua, Uriarau Parakoti, Andrew Iroa, Eugene Tatuava, Lua Tua, Rua Ngametua, Tere Taia, Ben Tokorangi, Olaf Rasmussen.
Flying Dragons Snr A: Pene Trego, Meisaki Tudrau, George Fatafai, Phillip Taio, Phillip Hunter, Elisa Ravula, Willie Kauvai Jnr, Taamore Tangata, Daniel Toa, Mike Hoff, Sailosi Niagi, Usa Sivo, Papa Terepo, Pakia Wichman and Thomas Toa.
In other games at the weekend, the Cowboys take on the Warriors at Raemaru Park and with neither team having registered a win so far, this should be an interesting battle.
A win by either team will ensure that they keep in touch with the leaders of this division.
The women’s City vs Country match will be played at this venue.
At the Titikaveka field, the Bulls will play the Eels.
Both teams have been riding the winning wave of late – let’s see who gets bumped-off today. The Bulls actually lead the competition on better points ‘for & against’ so lets see how the Bulls young backline lead by Tepou Taana and Teariki Tou fares against the seasoned Eels speedsters. - Ruck and maul
Saturday July 10 Arorangi vs Takuvaine at Arorangi – 12.15pm Under 13, Ref-Tai Wichman assisted by club officials, 1.05pm Under 16, Ref-Poto Ngaroi assisted by Dan Munro and Vaivase Samania, 2.15pm Women’s, Ref-Vaivase Samania assisted by club officials, 2.55pm Senior B, Ref-Dan Munro assisted by Poto Ngaroi and Tai Wichman, 4.05pm Senior A, Ref-Arthur Emile assisted by Sean Willis and Robert Graham.
Saturday July 10 Ngatangiia-Matavera vs Tupapa at Tupapa – 12.00pm Under 13, Ref-Tangi Toa assisted by club officials, 12.45pm Under 16, Ref-Ratu Mato assisted by club officials, 1.50pm Under 19, Ref-Ben Koteka assisted by Ratu Mato and Paul Peyroux, 3.05pm Senior B, Ref-Tutai Taurarii assisted by Ben Koteka and Paul Peyroux, 4.10pm Senior A, Ref-Tua Manea assisted by Tutai Taurarii and Tangi Toa.