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Sharks singled out for praise

Thursday 19 January 2012 | Published in Regional

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The Aitutaki Sharks have been singled out and praised for their dedication to the domestic rugby league competition at the Cook Islands Rugby League annual general meeting.

CIRL president Charles Carlson described the clubs efforts in joining the Rarotonga-based domestic competition as a huge commitment that deserved recognition.

He said the six Rarotongan clubs also deserved thanks and praise for supporting the Sharks in the competition and by travelling to Aitutaki for games.

Carlson said rugby league was well-loved in Aitutaki and the game had contributed much to the island, both socially and economically.

I can recall coordinating the disaster response in Aitutaki after Cyclone Pat devastated the whole island in 2010, he said.

Rugby league made a huge difference during those depressing times by being there to support the Sharks and bringing some fun and entertainment to a devastated community.

We also like to acknowledge the Avatiu/Nikao Mongoose for launching the first League Masters game against the local team as curtain raiser to the Eels versus Sharks in Aitutaki.

This was a very enjoyable game with the whole island turning up to watch the game and I understand the Mongoose will be travelling back to Aitutaki for a rematch.

Carlson also thanked the players who supported the league masters competition during its first year of operation in 2011.

He said although a regular competition did not feature during the year, the dedication of a few older players meant the Cook Islands was able to compete in an international competition this year.

A team of enthusiastic masters managed to form a Cook Island squad to attend the masters tournament in the Gold Coast. Prior to their departure, the touring side organised some games with players wanting a run to help prepare for the tournament, Carlson said.

These games benefited the touring team and most importantly helped raised the profile of the masters in the Cook Islands.

As a result, the local team played extremely well in the Gold Coast winning two games and drew one. This was a huge achievement by the team considering half the squad never played rugby league during their playing days.