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Eels, Bulls clash in semis

Friday 10 September 2010 | Published in Regional

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The Avatiu Eels senior B rugby grade and opponents the Titikaveka Bulls will get this week’s knockout semi finals round on a roll today.

The two teams will clash this afternoon at 4.30pm at the Avatiu field.

With the Bulls having four grades (from a possible five grades) playing in this week’s semis, this will be a chance to check on their player depth.

It will be a catch-22 situation to see and best manage their players this weekend for fear of injury or being captured in the higher grade.

Congratulations to the Bulls for having four grades playing in this week’s semis.

The Eels will be buoyed by last week’s impressive win and everyone knows that the Eels senior B grade are the real ‘heart and soul’ of this club – yeah right!

Players to watch in the Eels pack will be ex-Atiu national rep Papa ‘Flash’ at halfback, supported by the Tangata brothers Wally and Junior .

For the Bulls watch for strong-running Tongan lock Lukena Vunatou and busy hooker Teariki Tearatoa.

The second senior B semi final clash will be at Arorangi on Saturday and will be between the Arorangi Cowboys and Takuvaine Reds.

The Cowboys have been the standout team in this grade winning all 10 of their matches this season.

With both these teams containing many stars from yesteryear and probably the most influential players to date have been Cowboys first five-eighths Pomare Pokipoki and for the Reds elusive centre Poso Ngaroi.

In the under 19 grade, the Tupapa Panthers take on the Titikaveka Bulls at Avatiu on Saturday.

The Panthers have been the team to watch this season – their array of skills and fitness, with the majority being ex or current CISA students, being a feature of their matches.

Panther players to watch are Caleb Tatuava (flanker), halves Volunteer Tokorangi and Turua Kamana.

The Bulls have been a mixed bunch all year but are not expected to be a threat in this weekend’s match and best for the Bulls have been utility back Tui Simeon, fullback Akeona Tairi and tough loose forward Mana Ngaau.

At Arorangi field on Saturday the Avatiu Eels under 19 grade will face the Takuvaine Reds.

From previous encounters the Eels have won both matches 23-14 and 38-0.

But being semis time anything can happen in this grade – so expect a more resistant Reds outfit this weekend.

Players to watch from the Eels camp are strong-running centre Sirla Pera and the Emile brothers Noel and Tamatoa in the forward pack.

For the Takuvaine Reds watch for feisty halves Dylan Murray, Mata Ezekiela and busy loose forward Mana Samania.