More Top Stories

Sports
Court

Alleged rapist in remand

27 April 2024

National
Rugby league

Moana target 2025 World Cup

11 November 2022

Battle of the season: Bears and Eels clash for the grand final spot

Saturday 4 May 2024 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Rugby league, Sports

Share

Battle of the season: Bears and Eels clash for the grand final spot
The premier men’s semifinal between defending champions Arorangi Bears and Minor Premiership holders Avatiu Nikao Eels promises to be an exciting and intense clash. SOLOMONE TAUKEI/24050380

The Cook Islands Rugby League Rarotonga 13s competition premier men’s semifinal between defending champions Arorangi Bears and Minor Premiership holders Avatiu Nikao Eels promises to be an exciting and intense clash.

Both teams are coming into the game to be held at the National Stadium in Nikao this afternoon with distinct objectives – the Eels, wounded from a previous knockout, are determined to bring their best performance to the field, while the Bears, morally boosted by their recent victory over the Ngatangiia Matavera Sea Eagles, are eager to maintain their momentum and secure a spot in the final.

This encounter is dubbed as the battle of the season, where the team that commits the fewest mistakes will earn themselves a coveted place in the grand final against the Tupapa Panthers.

Eels coach Clive Nicholas emphasised the importance of discipline and attitude in their preparations for this crucial match.

Reflecting on their previous encounter with the Panthers, Nicholas acknowledged that lapses in these areas cost them dearly.

He stressed the need for the team to remain focused despite the potentially intimidating atmosphere of the National Stadium, where a larger crowd is expected to gather.

“We are happy we’ve got another chance, and we’ve got tons of improvement to make going into this game,” remarked Nicholas, outlining the team’s determination to rectify past mistakes and deliver a strong performance against the Bears.

On the other side, Bobby-Ryan Hansen, coach of the Arorangi Bears, expressed gratitude for their victory over the Sea Eagles last week.

He highlighted the team’s focus on improving their structure and winning the ruck battles as key factors for success against the formidable Eels.

“We are grateful we got past the Sea Eagles last week. This week, our focus is on our structure and winning the ruck. Once we do that, we have a chance against the Eels,” said Hansen, emphasising the importance of executing their game plan effectively.

Prior to the highly anticipated men’s premiership semi-final, spectators will be treated to matches featuring the under-14s and under-16s, showcasing the budding talent within the league. Additionally, the Senior Women’s semis between the Lady Bears and the Lady Bulldogs promises to be a highlight of the evening, adding to the excitement and diversity of rugby league action.

Fixtures

National Stadium: Today – 12.45pm: U14 Sea Eagles vs Panthers, 1.45pm: U16: Bears vs Panthers, 3pm: Senior Women: Bears vs Bulldogs, 4.30pm Premier Men: Bears vs Eels.