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U16 youth and flare on show

Wednesday 15 September 2010 | Published in Regional


The Origin Energy under 16 grand final is expected to be an exciting game of youth and flare.

This age grade grand final will be contested by the Avatiu Eels and rivals the Arorangi Cowboys at the BCI Stadium this Saturday.

The Eels have been the form team this year in a very competitive grade, together with the Panthers and Cowboys, and they’ve consistently been the leaders in this grade.

The Eels have won all 11 of their Saturday matches but lost the one and only mid-week Under 16 Powerade Challenge Trophy by 21-18 against the Cowboys.

The strength of this Eels team is their backline, led by skilled first five-eighths Basil Matapo and supported by strong-running midfielder Nigel Hoeflich and Stanley Tobia, they have ‘carved-up’ all opposition this season. The Eels are complemented by a very competitive and mobile forward pack led by outstanding forwards including number eight Cane Rima and lock Stephen Hiro.

For the Cowboys a lot of their play revolves around their captain Robert Heather Jnr, his versatility, creativity and ‘lead by example’ organisational skills are key to their chances of a 2010 title.

Others who have consistently shown their hand all season have been nuggety hooker Yves Obeda, goal-kicking first five-eighths Tiaarn Mataora and speedy centre Nathaneil Tairi – the ‘midfield battle’ could decide this weekend’s result.

The 2010 matches played between these two teams have resulted in the following score-lines Eels vs Cowboys 34-0, 17-12 and 18-21.

Congratulations and best of luck to both teams. - CIRU

Under 16 Eels: Jaemal Pakitoa, Tutu Pouao, Junior Ngametua, Tuaine Unuia, Steven Hiro, Tamanui Nicholas, Michael Tutaka, Cain Rima, Marcelo Rairoa, Basil Matapo, Rauti Ellison, Nigel Hoeflich, Stanley Tobia, Puna Hiro, Petero Teio, Gene Heather, Arama Wigmore, Papa Tetauru and Prtland Takai.

Under 16 Cowboys: Aumata Tearoa, Yves Obeda, George Isamaela, William Bolla, Andrew Purua, O’Neil Rongo, Dennis Rangi, Levi McKinley, Rob Heather Jnr, Tiaarn Mataora, Tokoiva George, Nathaniel Tairi, Teariki Samuel, Helsom Teiti, Tereinga Murare, McKenzie Karati, Henry Ariihee, Fred Pickering, John Gosselin, Gavin Halatau and Ariimanu Chan.