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Panthers season on the line

Saturday 27 August 2011 | Published in Regional

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The finals series has begun for the Tupapa Panthers.

Currently sitting fourth with 17 points on the table, the Panthers face a make or break match this weekend.

Winning would mean the team maintains its good standing on the table and put them on track to keep their top four position. Losing may see the teams finals hopes disappear.

The Panthers have also shown good form lately winning both the Constitution 7s and the Club 7s held over the past three weekends.

They will also take some confidence into this match having defeated the Dragons in last weekends Club 7s final, pitting their opponents by five points in their 17-12 win.

The Dragons, on the other hand, have been this seasons big improvers.

After winning the first round they have been able to maintain their standing and are currently sitting in first place with 30 points after round 7 of the CITC Rarotonga Club 15s competition.

Both teams are built around their speedy backlines scoring plenty of tries so expect the battle of the midfield between National 7s representatives Sailosi Nagi of the Dragons and Turori Matutu of the Panthers and the pivots between Dragon Daniel Toa and Panther Wallace Aroita to dictate the final outcome of this match.

Both teams love open-field running, so expect an exciting and high scoring CITC Match of the Week at Tupapa Field today.

In the weekends other matches, Avatiu Eels take on Titikaveka Bulldogs at Avatiu and the Takuvaine Reds host Arorangi Cowboys at Takuvaine.

Ngatangiia Dragons Clinton Charlie, Sunga Monga, Willie Kauvai, Usa Sivo, Paul Daniels, Phillip Hunter, Tutu Tangimetua, Sereli Babu, Elia Tangimetua, Daniel Toa,Thomas Toa, Sailosi Nagi, Nassau Fatefai, Alan Toa, JJ Maui, Tai Tangaroa, Desmond Wildin, Maara Ioakopa.

Tupapa Panthers Mattew Arioka, Ngametua Taama, Trevor Arona, Ben Tautu, Kana Nga, Eddie Herman, Kore Herman(Capt.), Aseli Tangi, Olaf Rasmussen, Wallace Aroita, Rua Ngametua, Lua Tua, Turori Matutu, Andrew Iroa, Conrad Piri, Mau George, Lefou George, Tupou Faireka, Teariki Faireka.

- Ruck and maul / EP

Updated round 8 draw for Saturday, August 27:

Avatiu Eels vs Titikaveka Bulldogs at Avatiu 1pm, Under 13, Ref: Tavake Manuel, Assist. Ref: Club Official; 1.50pm, Under 16, Ref: Billy Tuaivi, Assist. Ref: Opura Emile / Tavake Manuel; 2.55pm, Under 19, Ref: Phillip Strickland, Assist. Ref: Tavake Manuel / Opura Emile; 4.10pm, Senior A, Ref: Simiona Teiotu, Assist. Ref: Phillip Strickland / Tutai Tuakana.

Takuvaine Reds vs Arorangi Cowboys at Takuvaine 12pm, Under 13, Ref: Puru Samania, Assist. Ref: Club Official; 12.40pm, Under 16, Ref: Kaukura Nia, Assist. Ref: Puru Samania / Club Official; 1.45pm, Under 19, Ref: Vaivase Samania, Assist. Ref: Puru Samania / Kaukura Nia; 3pm, Senior B, Ref: Tutai Taurarii, Assist. Ref: Bishop Bishop / Kaukura Nia; 4.10pm, Senior A, Ref: Arthur Emile, Assist. Ref: Sean Willis / Bishop Bishop.

Tupapa Panthers vs Ngatangiia Dragons at Tupapa 2pm, Under 13, Ref: Anthony Turua, Assist. Ref: Club Official; 2.50pm, Under 16, Ref: Poso Ngaroi, Assist. Ref: Tangi Toa / Club Official; 4.10pm, Senior A, Ref: Tua Manea, Assist. Ref: Tangi Toa / Poso Ngaroi.