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Monday 23 May 2011 | Published in Regional


The Tupapa Panthers premier rugby league team caused the biggest upset of the season when they thrashed the Ngatangiia Sea Eagles 36-0, ending what was a superb year for the Sea Eagles.

It wasnt the result the Sea Eagles supporters were expecting from their team who all season has impressed with exhibitions of player depth, polished skills, fitness and discipline.

The Sea Eagles were also hailed as the 2011 seasons biggest improvers managing to maintain a top two position for most of the competition.

The team even threatened the Avatiu Eels at last weeks knockout competition and were expected to make what would have been their first grand finals appearance in some years but like last year the Sea Eagles now reluctantly hang up their boots.

The Tupapa Panthers massive slaughter of the Sea Eagles has come as somewhat of a surprise considering the 2009 champions had a sluggish start to the season.

But once the Panthers got their train back on track in the second round of competition, theyve consistently improved their game including putting the fear up defending champions the Avatiu Eels the week before the knockout round where the Eels escaped with a one point win over the Panthers.

But the semi finals wasnt all about the premier grade as the rising star of the sport also put on a fantastic display of skills under semi finals pressure.

In the under 13 grade The baby Eels beat the Panthers 26 - 16 and the Bears proved too strong for the Eels to win 20-10.

The under 19 Bears will face the Avatiu Eels in the grand finals next week after the Bears thrashed the Panthers 24-5.

The Bulldogs reserve grade, who had a rocky ride to the semi finals, proved that they were a strong unit when they disposed of the Eels 24-18 to progress to next weeks grand finals against 7 time defending champions the Arorangi Bears.

Its time to show your true colours and get in behind your club teams featuring in the 2011 rugby league grand finals to be held next Saturday at the BCI Stadium in Nikao.