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Monday 5 September 2011 | Published in Regional


Missed opportunities and ill-discipline marred the Tupapa Panthers efforts last week as they suffered defeat at the hands of Arorangi, the Cowboys winning 2820.

The Panthers chances at winning the match were hurt by three missed penalty kicks in the first half, a dropped ball with an open line late in the second half and two yellow cards meaning the Panthers virtually played 20 minutes of this match with only 14 men.

The Cowboys, on the other hand, kept their composure and applied the pressure throughout especially in the forward exchanges and in seizing opportunities. They scored four converted tries in the process.

The majority of their tries came as the result of playing pressure-rugby in the opposition half, a style that is not flash, but definitely winning rugby.

The Panthers actually started the match on fire, making their intentions very clear from the first minute of play.

From the very first kick-off and deep in their own half they launched a counter-attack. They showed good passing through the hands of their fleet-footed backline.

Ten passes and 90 metres later their speedy halfback Andrew Iroa dotted down underneath the sticks with a conversion by first 5/8 Wallace Aroita, the Panthers in the lead 7-0.

Five minutes later, Aroita kicked a 35-metre penalty to take the score to 10-0 in favour of the Panthers.

The Cowboys slowly clawed their way back into the match with tries to their flying right wing Moti Tuivaga and energetic open side flanker Pierre Rongokea.

The halftime score saw the Cowboys in front 14-13.

The second half commenced and the Panthers wheels slowly started to fall off.

In the other games for the weekend, the Ngatangiia Dragons played Titikaveka Bulls at Titikaveka. With the scores 17-all at halftime, the Dragons finished stronger, winning the match by 3817 against the Bulls.

At Takuvaine, the Avatiu Eels won comfortably against their city cousins the Takuvaine Reds, 39-10.

Back at Arorangi, the best players for the Panthers were the classy Piri brothers Darren (inside centre) and Conrad (right wing) and Mr Consistency loose forward Kore Herman.

Bests for the Cowboys were their dominant forward pack led by their busy loose forward trio of Rongokea, Edwin Teraitua and mobile Number 8 Ina Radiki Samu Tapurau minus the afro hair.

Final score: Arogangi Cowboys 28. Tries: Pierre Rongokea (2), Moti Tuivaga and Joseph Napa. Conversions: Rouru Une (4).

Tupapa Panthers 20. Tries: Andrew Iroa and Conrad Piri. Conversions: Wallace Aroita and Turori Matutu. Penalties: Wallace Aroita and Turori Matutu.

In this weeks round 10 rugby, the Bulls play the Reds at Takuvaine, the Panthers play the Eels at Tupapa and the Cowboys host the Dragons at Arorangi in the CITC Game of the Week.