Tuesday 23 August 2022 | Written by Rashneel Kumar | Published in Rugby league, Sports
The match between Cook Islands Residents and defending champions Tabusoro Fiji was initially supposed to be played on Saturday at The Swamp in Avatiu before it was moved to Tupapa’s Victoria Park.
But due to rainy weather over the weekend, Cook Islands Rugby Union decided to postpone the match.
At a special meeting yesterday attended by officials from the three participating teams – Residents, Tabusoro and Tokouso – CIRU decided to hold the match on Wednesday with the final match between Tokouso and Tabusoro to be played on Saturday at Victoria Park in Tupapa.
Cook Islands Rugby Union’s Ben Koteka said there won’t be any age group matches on Wednesday with the main match kicking off at 4pm.
“Officials from all teams were there (at the meeting) and we just decided to go with it,” Koteka said.
Tabusoro manager Aseri Turuibewa said some of their players would have to secure early release from their work in order to get ready for the match at 4pm.
“There are some players who will need to ask for early leave in order to make it to the match,” Turuibewa said.
“We are wary of the Residents team especially of their forwards and we are not taking this match lightly.”
The team held a training session yesterday and will have another run this afternoon before tomorrow’s clash.
“We will see how the weather is and work out a (game) plan that will best suit the conditions on the day.”
Tabusoro will miss the services of some key players who have left the country including speedster Peniasi Dakuwaqa and also Tua Ravula, who is out injured.
The team will be led by the likes of Lai Rogorogoivalu in the backline and Clarke Ngaau aka Kalaveti and John Bogitini upfront. Eli Bendini is coaching Tabusoro.
Residents coach Darren Piri earlier said they plan to disrupt Tabusoro’s free flowing game and starve them of possession.
“We are still in contention … we need to come back together and put on a better structure of play. The boys want to come and play, they want to improve their game personally and as a group.”
The Residents went down to Tokouso made up of Samoan and Tongan players 22-24 in the opening match over a week ago.