Monday 27 June 2011 | Published in Regional
Youth and composure were the winning combination for the Avatiu Eels who outmuscled the Ngatangiia-Matavera Flying Dragons on Saturday to win the CITC match of the week 24-11.
In typical Avatiu fashion, the Eels finished stronger scoring 2 tries in the final 10 minutes of the game and squashing any hopes of a Dragons revival.
Of the tries scored, none was better than the Eels 80 metre effort scored by their open-side flanker Eliza Rabula late in the second-half.
Rabulas try was the final result of a fantastic Eels team effort which saw inter-passing down a small blindside corridor with inroads made by Eels outside backs Maka Tereu and Duane Gukisuva.
Gukisuva chipped the ball over the heads of Dragons defenders for Rabula to re-gather and gallop the final 20 metres outstripping the cover defence to dot down under the posts much to the delight of the Eels fans.
Then 18-year-old school boy giant Daniel Tutai, who started at lock but finished up in the midfield, put the match beyond doubt when he dotted down in the corner from a set backline move off a solid Eels scrum.
It was a much improved Eels forward pack that also included 17-year-old 130kg hooker Zeru Pera that provided sufficient go-forward ball for their make-shift and injury depleted Eels backline.
When the Eels reserves bench was emptied their backline included four under 19 players including Stanley Tobia, Basil Matapo, JJ Nicholas and Teariki Sword who are all products of the Cook Islands Sports Academy 2011 intake.
The Dragons only try was scored by the sides nippy Phillip Hunter while Daniel Toa chipped in 6 points through 2 penalty kicks.
In the other Senior A Grade matches played in the weekend the Arorangi Cowboys grounded out a 6-3 win over hosts the Titikaveka Bulls.
Cowboys winger Rouru Une kicked 2 penalties against the Bulls single penalty kick by fullback Bill Tangapiri
A youthful Bulls team took it to the champion Cowboys team but stumbled at the finish line.
At Victoria Park the Takuvaine Reds defeated the Panthers 27-21 in a closely fought match.
The highlight of the game was Reds winger and national sevens representative Eddie Nicholass 3 beautiful tries for a hat-trick.
This coming week the Cowboys will host Reds at Raemaru Park while the Bulls will host the Eels in Titikaveka and the Dragons will lock horns with the Panthers.
- Ruck and maul
Full results Dragons vs Eels (Dragons scores first)-Under 13 grade 7 vs 52, Under 16 grade 7 vs 31, Under 19 grade Eels won by default, Senior B grade 13 vs 17, Senior A grade 11 vs 24,
Bulls vs Cowboys (Bulls scores first)-Under 13 grade 0 vs 73, Under 16 grade 0 vs 86, Under 19 grade 20 vs 26, Senior B grade 19 vs 14, Senior A grade 3 vs 6, Panthers vs Reds (Panthers scores first)-Under 13 grade 52 vs 0, Under 16 grade 67 vs 0, Under 19 grade 15 vs 14, Senior B grade 19 vs 24, Senior A grade 21 vs 27.