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Panthers after first win

Saturday 19 February 2022 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Rugby league, Sports

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Panthers after first win
Tupapa Panthers’ Peniasi Dakuwaqa tries to make a break against Arorangi Bears. PHOTO: CI NEWS/21091314

Defending champions Tupapa Panthers are hoping to redeem themselves in the 2022 domestic rugby league 13s season when they take on high flying Ngatangiia Matavera Sea Eagles this afternoon.

The Panthers lost to Avatiu Nikao Eels 22-54 in round one of the weekly competition at the Aretere Park last week while the Sea Eagles thumped Titikaveka Bulldogs 58-6.

Panthers coach Darren Piri says they are working on getting players turning up to training and working on the defensive line.

“We are working on simple attack plays. We are starting from the bottom again.” Piri said.

“We got smashed last weekend. We are struggling with player numbers. Other clubs are also struggling with player numbers. A lot of players have gone to New Zealand.”

Piri said their focus this week had been their defence.

“What we need to work on is our defensive line, work out our combinations for attack plays.

“Good luck to everybody playing (today), if you haven’t got anything else to do, come out and support the clubs.”

Sea Eagles coach Richard Piakura said it was good to get a win under the belt. “We will be relying on our big boys, our forwards to lead. We have to strengthen our defence and get our line speed up,” Piakura said.

“We have been getting good numbers, a full squad at training. We have been working hard.

“Everybody knows the Panthers are a strong team, we just need to man up on the day and everything else will fall in to place. Good luck to both teams. “

Meanwhile there has been a change of venue for one of the games this weekend. The weather is not in favour of games being played at Victoria Park, Tupapa, therefore hosting ground has been moved to Nukupure Park, Muri.

Fixtures

Today: Nukupure Park – 1.30pm U10 Sea Eagles-Panthers, 1.30pm U12 Sea Eagles-Panthers, 2.30pm U16 Sea Eagles-Panthers, 3.30pm U19 Sea Eagles-Panthers, 5pm Premier Sea Eagles-Panthers; Raemaru Park – 12.30pm U10 Bears-Eels, 12.30pm U12 Bears-Eels, 1.30pm U14 Bears-Eels, 2.30pm U16 Bears-Eels, 3.30pm U19 Bears-Eels, 5pm Reserves Bears-Eels.

Bye: Prems – Eels, Women’s – Eels and Panthers, Reserves – Panthers.