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Women’s league comp hots up

Tuesday 28 February 2023 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in League, Rugby league, Sports


Women’s league comp hots up
Lady Eels. SUPPLIED/23022720

The Cook Islands women’s rugby league competition is gaining momentum as a newcomer stuns defending champions in round two over the weekend.

Lady Eels’ 30-10 win over Lady Bulldogs on Friday has made the title race an interesting one.

The Eels led 26-0 at the break and overcame a late challenge from the Bulldogs to win the match.

Lady Eels assistant coach Sunielia Tom was pleased with the performance of the players.

“Majority of our players are newcomers with handful of experienced ones. The win has definitely set a platform for our women to build on and improve in the remaining matches,” Tom said.

Lady Eels were led by skipper Temata Arbuthnott, former Bulldogs player, and supported by Maeva Poaru.

Poaru put on a strong performance scoring four tries and deservedly claiming the player of the match award.

“Temata showed great leadership and confidence and she was supported well by our vice-captain Maeva who scored a hattrick plus a try in the win.”

Player of the match Maeva Poaru. SUPPLIED/23022721
Player of the match Maeva Poaru. SUPPLIED/23022721

Tom said winning their first match was a “huge morale booster”, adding they were looking forward to their remaining matches.

“It is still early stages in the season.”

In the other women’s match, Lady Panthers defeated Lady Bears 8-6 in an epic clash at Victoria Park. The undefeated Panthers lead the competition with two wins.

Lady Panther co-captain Rima Browne said: “It took us quite a while to get into the game, in fact both teams didn’t score until the second half.”

“While we are happy to come away with the win and another game under our belts, last week highlighted some areas we can focus on in training this week. “We have to remember that we have a number of new girls playing for the first time so development of skills and knowledge is going to be the focus for most teams.”

Team co-captain Kiana Sword-Tua says they are looking forward to going back to the drawing board “to see how we can improve on our next game against the Eels on Friday”.

Meanwhile in the premier men’s competition, Avatiu Nikao Eels thumped Ngatangiia Matavera Sea Eagles 64-0 while defending champions Tupapa Panthers overcame Arorangi Bears 36-12 at Nukupure Park on Saturday.


Women’s – Panthers 8 Bears 6, Bulldogs 10 Eels 30, U14 Sea Eagles 8 Eels 34, U14 Panthers 42 Bears 28, U16 Panthers- 32 Eels 10, U19 Eels 0 Bears 40, Premier Panthers 36 Bears 12, Premier Sea Eagles 0 Eels 64.