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Defending champs seek redemption

Saturday 23 March 2024 | Written by Solomone Taukei | Published in Rugby league, Sports


Defending champs seek redemption
Avatiu Nikao Eels will host defending champions Arorangi Bears at Aretere Park this afternoon. The Eels thumped the Bears 30-8 when the two teams met in round one. LOSIRENE LACANIVALU/24021807

As the titans of the Cook Islands Rugby League Rarotonga 13s competition clash once again, anticipation is at fever pitch for another thrilling weekend of matches.

Tupapa Panthers thumped Titikaveka Bulldogs 52-12 in the premier men’s clash at Aretere Park in Avatiu yesterday afternoon.

But all eyes will be on the battle between the Avatiu Nikao Eels and defending champions Arorangi Bears this afternoon. The two teams will meet at Aretere Park at 5pm.

The Eels thumped the Bears 30-8 when the two teams met in round one.

The Bears, focusing intently on refining their game structure and enhancing their conditioning, are poised to upset the wounded Eels.

Despite coming off a narrow loss against the Ngatangiia Matavera Sea Eagles before their bye week, the Eels remain a formidable force, and the Bears are well aware of the challenge that lies ahead.

Coach Bobby Hansen stressed the importance of maintaining discipline and focus, emphasising, “our game structure and conditioning must be ingrained by now”.

The women’s game promises to be a showdown of epic proportions, as the Lady Bulldogs take on the Lady Panthers, at 3.50pm.

With both teams currently topping the table, this clash is sure to keep fans on the edge of their seats. Expectations are high as these fierce competitors vie for supremacy on the field, and supporters can anticipate a thrilling spectacle.

In the under-16 category, the Bears and the Tupapa Panthers will square off in a battle of youthful exuberance and raw talent at 2.45pm. With budding stars eager to make their mark, this match is bound to showcase the future of Cook Islands Rugby League.

Meanwhile, in the under-14 division kicking off at 1.45pm, the Sea Eagles and the Panthers will engage in a fierce contest of skill and determination. As the next generation of players hone their abilities, the intensity of competition is sure to be palpable.

With each match presenting its own unique narrative and stakes, rugby league enthusiasts across Rarotonga are in for a treat this weekend. From the seasoned veterans of the premiership to the emerging talents of the junior divisions, the passion for the sport burns brightly within the hearts of players and fans alike.