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Monday 6 September 2010 | Published in Regional

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Panthers 13 vs Reds 12

Eels 21 vs Dragons 16

Cowboys 23 vs Bulls 17

A late second half 40-metre penalty goal kicked by Tupapa Panthers fullback Conrad Piri was enough for the Panthers to edge out the Takuvaine Reds 13-12 in Saturday’s main match.

The Panthers had a strong line-up and were expected to win comfortably to mount a serious challenge for the hotly contested semi finals 4th spot.

With the Reds missing key personnel due to injury, they were expected to struggle – however this did not eventuate as the persistent Reds came close to actually upsetting the Panthers plan.

The Panthers led at the half time break 3-0 but it was the Reds that replied in the second half with two tries with the first scored by their stocky left winger Kakaio Samania – after he was pushed over the try line from a rolling maul.

The second try, scored against the run of play, came via the Reds busy loose forward Mano Tekopua.

This was followed by a fantastic 90-metre Panthers team try which began close to their try line, a step by first five-eighth Ben Samuels, quick hands through the backline then a neat ‘in and away’ by winger Rua Ngametua who chipped ahead a deftly placed kick for 19-year-old centre Teu Paerau to run on to and score under the goal post.

With the successful conversion this took the score to 10-12 in favour of the Reds until the late 40-metre penalty goal kicked by Piri which made the final score 13-12.

Good to see Aitutaki ‘import’ players Ben Samuel, Mau George and 19-year-old Teu Paerau turning out for the Panthers.

Best for the Reds were busy loose forward Tekopua and centre Teina Savage.

In other A grade matches at the weekend the Arorangi Cowboys defeated their hosts the Titikaveka Bulls 23-17 while the Avatiu Eels once again slipped in a win against the Ngatangiia Dragons 21-16 thanks to a 75th minute try by the slippery Eels.

After the weekend games – venues for the next week’s knockout semi-finals have been confirmed.

Avatiu will host the 1st and 4th placed match ups across all grades while the Arorangi field will be where teams placed 2nd and 3rd will do battle.

Full results: Titikaveka vs Arorangi (Titikaveka scores first) – Senior A grade 17 - 23, Under 16 grade 19 - 31, Ngatangiia vs Avatiu (Ngatangiia scores first) – Senior A grade 16 - 21, Senior B grade 0 - 42, Under 16 grade 8 - 43, Under 13 grade 25 - 7. Tupapa vs Takuvaine (Tupapa scores first) – Senior A grade 13 - 12, Under 19 grade 38 vs12, Under 16 grade 62 - 0, Under 13 grade 66 - 0