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Monday 26 March 2012 | Published in Regional


The Takuvaine Warriors came agonisingly close to earning their first win in the rugby league season against the Titikaveka Bulldogs on Friday, but were unable to convert an early lead into points on the ladder.

The Warriors brought a tough game to the big Bulldogs players in their first home game for the season and early on, the results were showing in the score line.

But the Bulldogs responded to the Warriors’ physicality and managed to break through their defensive lines on the wing and in the centre of the field to turn a deficit into a win by full time.

Meanwhile, the Tupapa Panthers have retained their place at the top of the table following a 38-22 win in Aitutaki.

The Sharks hosted the Panthers in front of a huge home crowd, which put their collective weight behind the Sharks with plenty of noise and some colourful banners made specially for the match.

The final score doesn’t reflect the competitiveness of the match, with the Sharks and the Panthers in near-deadlock for the first three quarters of the match.

About 60 minutes in, the game was tied at 12-all before a rush of point-scoring inflated the scores.

The Panthers scored three quick tries to run away with the match after the referee banished two players – one from the Sharks and one from the Panthers – to the sin bin around 20 minutes from full time.

The opportunistic patch of try-scoring was enough to leave the Sharks behind by the end of the match.