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Monday 16 May 2011 | Published in Regional


The Avatiu Eels premier rugby league grade escaped the claws of a threatening and strong Ngatangiia Sea Eagles squad on Saturday night to earn the first spot in the 2011 rugby league grand finals on May 28.

The Avatiu Eels edged out the Sea Eagles 18-14 but it was the Sea Eagles that looked threatening all night in front of a huge crowd of supporters from Ngatangiia and Matavera who turned out to support their team.

The Sea Eagles led 8-6 into the second half of the game and were the first to score in the second half sending their supporters into a deafening cheer as the team extended their early lead to 12-10.

But Avatiu kept their composure and hit back with two tries of their own with a massive effort by big running Bilsy Gukisuva giving the Eels the edge and win over the Sea Eagles.

The Sea Eagles will now face the Tupapa Panthers in this weekends semi finals for the last grand finals spot.

The Panthers managed to dispose of the Bears 14-4 on Friday night in what was a low scoring affair at the BCI Stadium.

The Bears fronted with a somewhat new look team with players from their reserve and under 19 grade stepping up to fill in the gap after the Bears premier grade lost 7 players for various reasons.

The Panthers looked the more determined team on the side as the Bears struggled with injury, the final hooter signalling the end of the season for the Bears premier grade.

Some brilliant games were played at the BCI Stadium on Friday and Saturday afternoon however results from games at the weekend were not forthcoming from the rugby league association yesterday.

The full results will be printed in Tuesdays edition of Cook Islands News.