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23 January 2021

Aitutaki Sharks sharpen their teeth

Friday 8 January 2021 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in Rugby league, Sports

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Aitutaki Sharks sharpen their teeth
Aitutaki Sharks will comprise of members from their Sevens team. Vodafone/LAHEIVA Production/21010705

Veterans Teokotai “Billy Bush” Tuaivi and Bruce Goldsworthy are coming out of “retirement” to guide Aitutaki Sharks in the League Nines in Paradise tournament this weekend.

The Sharks will rely on the experience of the former Avatiu Eels players in the two-day tournament starting today at 12 noon. The tournament will be played at the National Stadium.

Team manager Vanic Teina said the inclusion of the two would provide the much-needed depth in their team.

“They have stepped in to support us, their experience in the game will be an asset for the team,” Teina said.

Seven players have travelled from Aitutaki for the tournament, they have been joined by eight Rarotonga-based players.

“We have basically the same bunch of players from the Raro Sevens competing again at the Nines this weekend,” Teina said.

“The boys from Aitutaki have been doing their own training and yesterday (Wednesday) the full squad had their first training session together.”

The Sharks who made their debut in the Nines competition last year are hoping for a better finish in this year’s tournament.

But Teina said their focus was to enjoy the competition.

“We don’t have huge expectations. We are the underdogs and while we would love to win this tournament, we are realistic about our chances.”

Apart from the Sharks, the men’s division will feature Tupapa Panthers 1 and 2, defending champions Arorangi Bears, Titikaveka Bulldogs, Ngatangiia Sea Eagles and Avatiu Nikao Eels.

Panthers coach Darren Piri explained the reason behind fielding two teams: “We had a good turnout at the training so we decided to field two teams so players get an opportunity to show their potential before we select our team for the 13s season.”

“We will have a main team and Tupapa Panthers II will be a development side.”

Piri said they were not aware of what to expect in the tournament “but like all other teams, we will be playing to win it.”

Fixtures

Today: 12.00pm M Avatiu Eels-Tupapa Panthers 2; 12.25pm M Ngatangiia Sea Eagles-Titikaveka Bulldogs; 12.50pm M Arorangi Bears-Aitutaki Sharks; 1.15pm W Rarotonga-Wale - Pa Enua; 1.40pm M Tupapa Panthers 1-Tupapa Panthers 2; 2.05pm M Avatiu Eels-Aitutaki Sharks; 2.30pm M Ngatangiia Sea Eagles-Arorangi Bears; 2.55pm W Arorangi Bears- Tupapa; 3.20pm M Tupapa Panthers 1-Titikaveka Bulldogs; 3.45pm M Tupapa Panthers 2-Aitutaki Sharks; 4.10pm M Avatiu Eels-Ngatangiia Sea Eagles; 4.35pm W Rarotonga-Tupapa; 5.00pm M Tupapa Panthers 1-Aitutaki Sharks; 5.25pm M Titikaveka Bulldogs-Arorangi Bears; 5.50pm M Tupapa Panthers 2-Ngatangia Sea Eagles; 6.15pm W Wale - Pa Enua-Arorangi Bears

Tomorrow – 10am M Tupapa Panthers 1-Arorangi Bears; 10.25am M Aitutaki Sharks-Ngatangiia Sea Eagles; 10.50am M Titikaveka Bulldogs-Avatiu Eels; 11.15am W Rarotonga-Arorangi Bears; 11.40am M Tupapa Panthers 1-Ngatangia Sea Eagles; 12.05pm Arorangi Bears-Avatiu Eels; 12.30pm M Titikaveka Bulldogs-Tupapa Panthers 2; 12.55pm W Tupapa-Wale - Pa Enua; 1.20pm M Tupapa Panthers 1-Avatiu Eels; 1.45pm M Arorangi Bears-Tupapa Panthers 2; 2.10pm M Aitutaki Sharks-Titikaveka Bulldogs; 2.35pm W Semi Finals; 3.00pm W Semi Finals; 3.25pm M Semi Finals; 3.50pm M Semi Finals; 4.15pm W 3rd & 4th Placing; 4.40pm Presentation Of Women's 3rd Trophy; 4.50pm M 3rd & 4th Placing; 5.15pm Presentation Of Men's 3rd Trophy; 5.25pm W Finals; 5.50pm Presentation; 6.00pm M Finals; 6.30pm Presentation.