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Bulldogs seek redemption

Friday 8 March 2024 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in Rugby league, Sports


Bulldogs seek redemption
Titikaveka Bulldogs will face Arorangi Bears at Nukupure Park this afternoon. The Bulldogs will rely on the likes of experienced player Longo Leuta. LOSIRENE LACANIVALU/24021631

Titikaveka Bulldogs are looking to bounce back this afternoon against defending champions Arorangi Bears after a heavy defeat to Avatiu Nikao Eels last week.

Week five of the Cook Islands Rugby League 13s competition will be held at Nukupure Park in Ngatangiia.

The action gets underway this afternoon in the premier men’s division between the Bulldogs and the Bears at 5pm.

The Bulldogs went down to the Eels 18-52 after leading 18-10 in the first spell at Teimurimotia Park on Friday last week. There were a lot of expectations on the team after their win against former champions Tupapa Panthers in week two.

The Bears were on a bye last week after a rocky start to their 2024 campaign with just a win from three matches.

Bulldogs’ manager Tereapii Tumutoa said: “League is a beautiful game. We are a club still trying to rebuild and find our form. All we can ask from our boys is to show up to trainings and to the games with the right mindset and the willingness to want to play.”

“Teams like Avatiu and Tupapa are teams that have set standards for this competition. Coming into the game against the Eels was really to be recognised by our tiny community, bring some life back to Teimurimotia Park and the boys had one goal on their mind and that was to play hard for our beloved community especially on home soil.

“We did well in the first half. However, Avatiu, a team with steady composure, came firing back in the second half. Our fitness level was really tested.”

Bulldogs coach Mark Tuaati said this week’s training was about getting the little things right to be able to achieve the bigger goals.

“Preparation has been good, there’s still a lot of work to do and we can’t go into this game undermining former champions Arorangi Bears. This competition is anyone’s, we will be relying on seasoned players to control the game and our young up and coming players to set the pace,” Tumutoa said.

“I believe both teams are going to come out to Nukupure Park wanting to go home victorious like the good book says ‘so many will run this race but only one will come out victorious’.”

Tumutoa is calling on the Titikaveka community to come out to Nukupure Park to support the team.

“Vaka Takitumu don’t worry about a feed, the Eagles has dinner sorted, bring the kids and the family and let’s enjoy another round of league action.”

On Saturday, Ngatangiia Matavera Sea Eagles will host the Eels in the premier match while Lady Bulldogs will take on Lady Bears in the senior women’s division.