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Lady Eels after big wins

Thursday 6 April 2023 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in League, Sports


Lady Eels after big wins
Lady Eels. SUPPLIED/23022720

Lady Eels are gunning for big wins in round two of the Cook Islands women’s rugby league 13s competition after going down to the top two teams – Lady Panthers and Lady Bears – in round one.

The side made a brilliant start to round two beating defending champions Titikaveka Bulldogs last week.

In the lone match this week, Lady Eels will take on Lady Panthers at 5pm today at Victoria Park in Tupapa.

The Eels lost to the Panthers when the two teams met in round one. They also lost to Lady Bears in round one.

The Panthers are hurting after losing their winning streak to Lady Bears 24-10 last Friday at Raemaru Park. The table toppers will be going all out for win when they host Lady Eels in the crucial match this afternoon.

And Eels assistant coach Sunielia Tom is wary of the challenge the Panthers pose in their bid to gain the top two spot in the competition.

“Regardless of their loss last week, they would still come back a lot stronger and obviously wanting to defeat us,” Tom said.

“As a team we need to uplift and stay positive. We need to work on what we emphasised during our training, that is, our game structure and game plan and if we follow them through, we will stand a good chance of beating the Panthers.”

Tom said they would be without a couple of their regular players who are out injured.

“We are a strong team but we are aware the Panthers and the Bears have a lot of experience in their side as well. However we feel that we stand a good chance of top three finish and the aim is obviously to get wins against the top two sides.”

She is calling on rugby league fans to come out in numbers to support the two teams.

Speaking of their loss to the Bears, Lady Panthers assistant coach Edwin Exham earlier said errors in the second spell let them down against the Bears.

“The game plan was working in the first half, then went out of the door in the second, to many forced errors putting us on back to back defense,” Exham said on Monday.

“We were playing against ourselves in the second half. But it also points out how much you got to want it. Bears capitalised on our mistakes, putting them ahead in the second half.

“I’m glad that the game is out of the way now, they (the players) don’t need to worry about first place pressure.”

Lady Panthers skipper Rima Browne said there was lots of learning to take away from the Bears game “which we are thankful for as we near semis”.

“Back to the drawing board for us.”