Wednesday 8 April 2009 | Published in Regional
Wednesday 8: With just three teams making an appearance for Monday’s Cook Islands Games league nines competition, they were all guaranteed a medal at the end.
Puaikura, Te Au O Tonga and Vaka Takitumu played two games each on Monday to determine which colour medal they would walk away at the end of the tourney.
Te Au O Tonga emerged the victors at the end of the three rounds after comfortably beating Puaikura in their first match and edging out a tough Takitumu team 28-12 in the finals.
Takitumu beat Puaikura to face Te Au O Tonga in the finals.
It was a close encounter between the two vaka teams with each side going tit-for-tat in the first half.
Aiola Samania of Vaka Te Au O Tonga scored the first try of the match which was quickly followed by a Takitumu try through speedster Bruce Goldsworthy to give Takitumu an early slim lead of 6-4.
Samania hit back with his second try soon after to put Te Au O Tonga back in the lead 10-6.
Always threatening with the ball in hand, Samania again led the Te Au O Tonga attack and with quick feet dodged Takitumu fast man Duane Gukisuva to score a hat trick and put Te Au O Tonga further in the lead 14-6.
Gukisuva was not impressed by being beaten in the foot race by Samania, and he got his own back when he cut through the Te Au O Tonga defence to score a brilliant individual try and close the gap on Te Au O Tonga’s lead 14-12.
Te Au O Tonga made the most of an injury on the try line – as Takitumu players took the opportunity to catch their breath, Clive Nicholas took a quick tap to sneak a try in under the post and put Te Au O Tonga back in a comfortable 20-12 lead at the half time break.
The second half was all about defence as both teams worked to keep the other away from the try line.
Te Au O Tonga managed to sneak in two more tries through Kieran Marsh and Samania posted his fourth try to give Te Au O Tonga a convincing 28-12 gold medal win at the Avatiu swamp. - MW