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Eels slip past Bears

Monday 15 February 2010 | Published in Regional


The Avatiu Eels lived up to their ‘slippery’ reputation when they managed to slip out of the Arorangi Bears’ grip in the second half of their tense action- packed match on Saturday to run away with the win 34-24.

The game was touted to be a big hitting bonanza and the massive crowd of spectators were not in the least disappointed with bone-crunching tackles on display by the long time rivals.

The Bears, in on their own turf in Raemaru, were the sharper looking team at the beginning of the match with silly errors by the Eels giving the Bears the first points, kicking two easy penalty goals through the boot of David Wichman.

Avatiu then reorganised themselves and hit back with a barn-storming try via the team’s big running and big hitting Mark Charlie who pushed over the Bears to dot down and match the Bears at 4-all.

And while the Eels were still celebrating their try, the Bears’ lethal runner Francis Smith made his mark as he bashed his way through the Eels defence to return the lead to the team.

Smith was the standout player for the Bears as he consistently gained the yards for the Bears.

Not to be left out of the big boys big hitting club, the Eels’ own bulldozer Lui Nicholas spun, twisted and crashed over the line to once again bring the scores to an even 10-all.

Again silly Eels errors were capitalised on by the Bears’ Edwin Teraitua, who, with a freshly bleached mane, scored a sneaky try when the Eels weren’t looking to give the Bears a 14-10 lead at the half-time break.

The Eels were fired up in the second half and this time they took advantage of a Bears knock-on. The ball was spread wide to flying winger Duane Gukisuva who put the hammer down and bolted 40 metres unobstructed to cross the try line.

With the scores again drawn at 14-all, the Eels seemed to lose their fire as again errors put the Bears back in the lead 18-14 thanks to two more penalty kicks by Wichman.

The Eels reignited their drive again and this time the ball found the hands of Ailoa Samania who then carved up the Bears defence to score a beautiful try for the Eels.

With the successful conversion of the try, The Eels edged ahead on the scoreboard 22-18.

Gukisuva was at it again on the wing as he snuck in try in the corner to put the Eels crowd on their feet and the team’s score to 28-18.

With minutes left on the clock, Clive Nicholas felt it was his time to shine and snaked his way around the Bears for a final Eels try to give them a comfortable 34-18 lead.

As the Eels relaxed with just a minute left on the clock, they were caught unawares by the Bears who exerted what was left of their energy to score the final try of the match through their big number 10.

But it wasn’t enough to win the match, as the Eels walked off the park victors.