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Friday 18 May 2012 | Published in Regional


Four Cook Islands teams and two international squads will compete in the inaugural Cook Islands Rugby League Masters tournament next week.

Australian team Nga Tama will play the Cook Islands’ Central Chiefs first up in round one of play from 3pm on Monday at the Ngatangiia field, while the New Zealand Otara Scorpians will close the day’s play against Mongoose in the day’s third match at 5pm.

The masters will get a rest day on Tuesday and Thursday, in between action scheduled for Wednesday and Friday next week.

The local masters will have their last game of the season today before preparing for their first game of the tournament on Monday.

The two overseas teams are expected to arrive tonight and will be attending the rugby league premier semi final and the grand final during their stay.

They will certainly be interested in watching the finals perhaps scouting out for some potential talents.

It is understood that one of the Canberra Raiders scouts is also here to watch the finals.

The Otara Scorpions will be arriving this evening, still feeling sour about their loss to the Cooks last year at the Gold Coast Masters. They’re expected to inject some venomous sting on the local teams.

The Tigers NRL feeder club, playing under the name of Nga Tama, is a strong team that drew with the Cooks in the Gold Coast Masters competition and will certainly be up for some good games.

The games will be played strictly to the league masters rules and the man in the middle Steve Church, a former top Kiwi referee now residing in Australia, will be coordinating the referees for the games.

The masters rules have been amended to help improve the game and this will be tested today and during the tournament.

If everyone is happy with the rules they will be adopted as the new rule for the League Masters here in the Cook Islands and for every future tournament that is held here in the Cooks.

Calling to all masters players to be at the Nikao Field 5pm today for the last game of the season and then to the League Masters HQ in Takuvaine for the debriefing.

A reminder to all players to wear correct shorts otherwise you will not be allowed to participate in the game and especially the tournament.

Cook Islands Rugby League Masters tournament draw: Round 1, Monday, May 21 at Ngatangiia field: 3pm - Central Chiefs v Nga Tama (Australia); 4pm - Rutaki Sharks v Takitumu; 5pm - Mongoose v Otara Scorpians (NZ). Round 2, Wednesday, May 23 at Nikao Field: 3pm - Mongoose v Nga Tama (Australia); 4pm - Central Chiefs v Rutaki Sharks; 5pm - Takitumu v Otara Scorpions (NZ). Round 3, Friday, May 25 at Tupapa Field: 3pm - Central Chiefs v Otara Scorpions (NZ); 4pm - Mongoose v Takitumu; 5pm - Rutaki Sharks v Nga Tama (Australia).