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U13, U16 pumped for semis

Thursday 9 September 2010 | Published in Regional

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Rugby players across all grades and clubs will be getting pumped for this weekend’s semi final knockout competition to be played at the Avatiu field and at Raemaru Park.

Today we highlight the under 13 and under 16 semi final teams set to rumble this weekend.

At the Avatiu field the Tupapa under 13 grade will take on the Takuvaine Reds. In this grade the Panthers have been unstoppable winning all 10 matches and accumulating a massive point’s tally of 542 points and zero points scored against them.

The Panthers have played the game with structure, skill and pace with plenty of tries scored by the backs led by their halves Aito Newbigging and Othneil Joseph.

Previous encounters between the Panthers and the Reds have resulted in 64-0 and 66-0 victories to the Panthers.

At the Arorangi field the Arorangi Cowboys under 13 grade will clash with the Ngatangiia Dragons. This should be an interesting match as this year both teams have met twice with one-win each.

Players to watch for in the Cowboys are the Samuel twins Kimi and Noa and also the Mataroa twins Matt and Nicky.

For the Dragons watch for lanky centre Tua Teokotai, inside backs Tamatoa Hunter and Arthur Foster and also pocket dynamo and winger Jonathon Mato.

In the under 16 grade semi final to be played at Avatiu, the Eels will meet the Titikaveka Bulls in what should be a tough match.

The strength of the Eels team is their backline – led by skilled first five-eighths Basil Matapo supported by mid-fielders Nigel Hoeflich and Stanley Tobia.

For the Bulls their key players will be Number 8 Jamain Pureau and big centre Fortes ‘Sonny-Bill’ Williams.

Meanwhile, at Arorangi the under 16 Cowboys will lock horns with the Panthers.

This will definitely be a match to watch as both teams are worthy of a grand final spot.

With regular competition in this grade, including the mid-week Powerade Challenge Trophy, this has definitely enhanced the level of rugby being played in this grade.

Panther’s players to watch are inside backs Jamien Iroa, Maeva Smith and Stubby Kamana. For the Cowboys look for loose forwards Robert Heather and his cousin Andrew Purua and hopefully a fully-fit Levi McKinley.