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Friday 19 August 2022 | Written by Rashneel Kumar | Published in Rugby league, Sports


Residents remain hopeful
Man of the match Lai Rogorogoivalu scores Tabusoro’s first try in the 2021 series. Photo: FILE/CI NEWS/21112211

The Cook Islands Residents will be going all out against defending champions Tabusoro – Fiji in their final Vodafone Tri Nations 15s Series match this weekend.

The match to be held at The Swamp in Avatiu will be crucial for both teams in their bid to claim the third edition of the annual rugby union series.

The Residents lost to Tokouso of Samoa and Tonga in the opening match last weekend 22-24 and needs to win tomorrow in order to stay in contention for the title.

Coach Darren Piri said: “It’s always disappointing to lose a game.”

“But really when we consider the circumstances we came through, not having the numbers and players playing out of position given the number of players we have on the island, we couldn’t do much.”

The Residents have numbers and quality upfront (forwards) but don’t have specialists in the backline – the Fijians mostly cover the backline positions in the local rugby union competitions. Some seasoned forwards have taken some key positions in the backline for the Residents.

Despite the loss last week, Piri said the team had not lost hope and they were looking forward to a better performance against Fiji this weekend.

“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 home side is yet to win the series, Tokouso won in the inaugural year in 2020 followed by Tabusoro last year.