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For pride and country, Tabusoro faces Tokouso in second leg of Tri Series

Saturday 10 June 2023 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in League, Sports


For pride and country, Tabusoro faces Tokouso in second leg of Tri Series
Fiji Residents player and manager Pita Senibiakula with Tokouso Samoa/Tonga Residents player Lualua Tua-Trood. LOSIRENE LACANIVALU/23060942.

Tokouso Samoa/Tonga Residents team is hoping to get some of their players into the Cook Islands Rugby League team for the Pacific Games this year.

These are a number of Cook Islanders with links to Samoa and Tonga who will be part of the Tokouso team that faces Fiji Residents-Tabusoro in the second leg of the Cook Islands Rugby League Tri Nations Series at Nukupure Park, Ngatangiia today.

Tokouso Samoa/Tonga Residents team player Lualua Tua-Trood says these players have not been considered in the Cook Islands wider squad for the Pacific Games to be held in November.

“But they were not included in the chance and hopefully we could push some boys in by the end of the tournament.”

Tua-Trood said preparation has been really good as they have had more numbers at trainings than expected.

However, he said the challenge is for the coaches to pick their team, and some boys will miss out.

The team will be focusing on executing the basics.

“The Fijian team has a game under their belt, so they will be much more match fit coming into this game, so we need to concentrate on making sure we are not giving the ball away, hold on to the ball and execute and come away with some points,” Tua-Trood said.

“At the same time defend really well because the Fijians like their flair running game, so we need to focus on tackles - slow the Fijian play down.”

He said most of the players in the team played in the recent 13s competition for finalists Arorangi Bears and Tupapa Panthers, including Feleti Iona, Fale Sooialo and Logan Perenise.

They have also secured the services of Oswald Tunupopo, an experienced forward.

He added: “We have Samoan and Tongans, have some local boys in connection to Samoa and Tonga and have a good mix of experienced players and young ones coming up.”

Fiji Residents player and manager Pita Senibiakula said this week they have been working on their weaknesses seen from last week’s match against Cook Islands Residents.

Cook Islands Residents defeated Fiji Residents 40-22 at Victoria Park in Tupapa last Saturday.

Senibiakula said their challenge last week was having the boys turn out for training.

This week they are focused on defence.

“I believe when it comes to league, Fijian players are known for their union style of play, that was our strength … we did give Cook Islands a good game, but when it came to league Cook Islands stood out.”

The Tokouso Samoa/Tonga Residents versus the Fiji Residents-Tabusoro match will kick off at 4pm today. In the curtain raiser match, Town will take on Country in the Women’s Conan Cup clash at 2.30pm.