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Panthers off to a flying start

Saturday 11 December 2021 | Written by Alana Musselle | Published in Rugby league, Sports

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Panthers off to a flying start

Defending champions Tupapa Panthers are off to a great start in the 2021 Raro 7s Community Tournament at The Swamp in Avatiu.

The day one of the tournament started with the opening ceremony speech by the Minister of Sport Mac Mokoroa who congratulated everyone who had come together during this time of uncertainty to celebrate the 32nd year of Raro 7s, including the men’s and women’s teams from Aitutaki.

After the formalities, the 7s action began with four women’s teams playing their opening round of games.

Lady Bears made a good start winning their opening match against the Eels before drawing with Lady Panthers 12-all.

Lady Panthers leads the competition after their huge 47-0 win against Aitutaki.

Cook Islands Rugby Union’s Ben Koteka said: “A close three-way contest is forming between Panthers, Bears and Eels. So the Saturday 1pm match between Eels versus Panthers is shaping as an exciting and key round-robin match.”

“Watch for key players like Chaz Makara and Vaiana Rima (Eels), Lahaina Tatuava and Rima Browne (Panthers) and Daimzel Rongokea and Teretia Teinaki to feature heavily on day two.”

In the men’s division, the Panthers look to be the team to beat, winning all three matches against decent opposition yesterday.

“With the robin-robin format finishing with a first and second play-off, anything could happen,” Koteka said.

In the U17 grade, the Bears won by 24-10 against the Mangaia team made up of mainly Tupapa players.

Outstanding players were, for Bears – Nia Remuera and Henry Mataio and the best players for Mangaia were inside backs William Trego and Abu Kamana.

The day two competition today kicks off at 1pm.

Entry fee os $3 for adults and children under-12 free.

Everyone who purchases a ticket at the gate will go into the draw to win a Samsung tablet valued at $300, sponsored by Vodafone. The lucky Friday winner of the Vodafone Tablet was BJ Tou.

Result

Women’s – Eels 5-12 Bears, Aitutaki  0-47 Panthers, Eels 41-5 Aitutaki, Bears 12-12 Panthers; Men’s – Panthers 26-12 Yalovata, Eels 14-28 Aitutaki, Aitutaki 10-35 Panthers, Yalovata 15-12 Atiu, Atiu 10-12 Aitutaki, Panthers 19-14 Eels; U17 – Mangaia 10-24 U17 Bears

Fixtures

Today – 1pm Womens - Rd 3 Eels-Panthers, 1.20pm Womens - Rd 3 Bears-Aitutaki , 1.40pm Mens Rd 4 Eels-Atiu, 2pm Mens Rd 4 Aitutaki-Yalovata, (Interval – 20 minutes), 2.40pm Mens Rd 5 Yalovata-Eels, 3pm  Mens Rd 5 Atiu-Panthers, ANZ Dash for Ca$h (30 minute – interval), Costume Parade/Giveaway prizes, 4pm U17 - Rd 2 U17 Mangaia-U17 Bears, 4.20pm Mens – Bronze 3rd-4th, 4.40pm Womens – Bronze 3rd-4th, 5pm Womens - Final, 5.20pm Mens – Final, Presentation of awards/Front of grandstand