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Tokouso win 15s thriller

Monday 15 August 2022 | Written by Rashneel Kumar | Published in Rugby league, Sports

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Tokouso win 15s thriller
Cook Islands Residents went down fighting to Tokouso in the opening match of the Vodafone Tri Nations Series at Victoria Park on Saturday. Photo: MELINA ETCHES/ 22081440

Cook Islands Residents’ chances of claiming their first ever Tri Nations 15s competition title took a dent when they lost to Tokouso in the opening match of the annual series on Saturday.

As anticipated, the opening Vodafone Tri Nations 15s match between Tokouso and the Cook Islands Residents at Victoria Park in Tupapa was a tough contest.

Tokouso made up of Samoan and Tongan players residing in Rarotonga survived the battle with a slender 24-22 win.

The resilient Cook Islands Residents team led by inside centre Robert Heather and number eight James Kora battled tooth and nail but fell short against the 2020 winner.

Although the strong Tokouso outfit scored three tries to the Residents one, the home side coached by Darren Piri refused to give up hope as they played with plenty of spirit. The Resident persistently chased the Ox Moananu-coached Tokouso right to the final whistle.

Cook Islands Rugby Union development manager Ben Koteka said: “Surprisingly it was the Tokouso scrum that was part of the foundation for this match one win – their 61st minute penalty try from persistent Cook Islands Residents infringements rewarded their efforts at scrum time.”

Tokouso led at halftime by 10-9.

The top players for the Cook Islands Residents were Robert Heather, James Kora, loose forward Adyn Anguna and goal kicking fullback Leo Roa.

For the Tokouso side, the top performers were their front row led by youngster Mike Schuster, massive lock Seta Veni, winger Peni Kitiona and midfielder Rudi Sifa.   

This Saturday, the Residents take on defending champions Tabusoro – Fiji in a must win match at The Swamp in Avatiu.

Results

Tokouso: 24 (Tries: Lapana Tofilau, John Penu and penalty try (automatic 7 points). Conv: Viiga Ruepena (2). Pen: Afereti Anau) Cook Islands Residents: 22 (Try: Robert Heather, Conv: Leo Roa. Pen: L Roa (5)