Tupapa defeated Arorangi in the Rarotonga Netball Club competition premier final on Saturday at Tupapa Domes. LOSIRENE LACANIVALU/23060321 - 23060345
Tupapa is the new premier champions of the Rarotonga Netball Club competition after defeating Arorangi Flames 49-47 in the grand finale at Tupapa Dome over the weekend.
Netball Cook Islands secretary Tekura Moeka’a said
great vibes was felt at the finals of Rarotonga’s domestic season on Saturday.
“The games started with a roar, with each team naming
their players, unbeknown especially for our upcoming players of how much of the
weight of the clubs depended on them,” she said.
Moeka’a explained that Arorangi lost it in the last
three minutes as they were up by two points.
It was the midcourt of both sides “losing the ball,
little errors like stepping and sadly placement of the ball”.
“Mere Jean Piri, goal keeper for Tupapa, played an
outstanding game, tenacious in her defence and clinical in her attack, is a
player to look out for,” Moeka’a said.
“Tashi Kopu slotted in nicely at goal attack for
Tupapa and controlled the circle well, and rose to the occasion.”
For Arorangi, “Elena Mataora showed her experience and leadership
for her team, unfortunately the errors from her feeders cost them in the last
quarter”, Moeka’a said.
Tupapa captain Riana Pepe said they went on the court
with a job to do. She said they were reminded to stay disciplined throughout
the match and that got them through.
“This is our home and we took that onto the court,”
“I have been playing premier grade since I was 14,
played against the Arorangi, and with them. Every year gets harder.”
Arorangi captain Stephanie Nooroa said it was an
exciting match and thanked all who supported them.
“Also thanks to Tupapa for giving us a hard game … congrats,
only one person can walk away with the championship.”
For the rest of the grades, in six and under grade Tupapa
played a dominant game and was the only unbeaten team this season, eventually
winning the final against Avatiu 10-5
In the 8U, Moeka’a said it was an exhilarating match
between Ngatangiia and Avatiu with Ngatangiia’s “petite shooters confident in
their shot led them to a win. Avatiu fought right to the end”. Ngatangiia won
In the 10U final, Avatiu defeated Tupapa 17-12.
“‘Nina’ daughter of Cook Islands
Netball National led her shooting circle with poise. The ever so accurate Nina
gave her team the confidence they needed to get the win. Tupapa were not far
behind, and chipped away,” Moeka’a said.
In the 12U, Takuvaine overcame Arorangi 29-23 and in
15U final Arorangi defeated Avatiu 27-23.
“It was anyone’s match (15U). Avatiu, the winners last year, were hoping to make it two years in a row. However, Arorangi unbeaten this year showed why.”
In the reserves final, Avatiu defeated Tupapa 38-32.
“In the reserves with only four teams this year, clubs
who had entered only had little game time. The winning Rreserve team from last year
fell short versus Avatiu who feature some 15U victors from the 2022 team.
Avatiu were more structured in their play. “
Netball Cook Islands will be announcing a wider squad
for the Pacific Games 2023 in the coming week with training to start immediately.