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Underdogs topple netball giants

Monday 29 May 2023 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in Netball, Sports

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Underdogs topple netball giants
Tupapa defeated second placed Titikaveka 45-43 while Arorangi shocked the previously unbeaten Avatiu 42-39 at the Ngatangiia Matavera Courts in Muri on Saturday. LOSIRENE LACANIVALU/23052820

Rarotonga Netball Club competition premier giants Avatiu and Titikaveka went down to the underdogs Arorangi and Tupapa respectively in the semi-finals at the Ngatangiia Matavera Courts in Muri over the weekend.

A new champion will be crowned when Arorangi and Tupapa will battle in the final this weekend after their superb performance in the semis on Saturday.

Tupapa defeated second placed Titikaveka 45-43 while Arorangi shocked the previously unbeaten Avatiu 42-39.

In a tit for tat Titikaveka versus Tupapa clash, it wasn’t the former’s day in the shooting circle.

A determined Tupapa played a consistent game, with young Mere Jean Piri, the standout player for side, playing in GK (goalkeeper) position against the experienced Cook Islands rep Alanna Smith. Piri combined with her GD (goal defence) partner Norma Pepe to cause havoc and confuse the space versus Titikaveka attackers.

Netball Cook Islands secretary Tekura Moeka’a said: “Tupapa and Titikaveka both had a balance of experienced and up and coming players. Both Tupapa and Titikaveka had young midcourt units. Titikaveka unit made up of Grace Matenga, Aleida Tere and Kimi Tangirere stood up to the challenge.”

Tupapa was boosted by the likes of Melody Tommy, Tashi Kopu and Piri from the winning Tupapa Reserve team in 2022.

Avatiu found it difficult to attack their shooting circle and feeding into their shooters against Arorangi in the other semis.

Avatiu with the flexibility of players – and perhaps the only club that had five shooters at their disposal – made changes during the match that didn’t really settle until the last quarter with Trina Ahau potting goals from all over the circle.

Curly Taripo proving her experience and leadership in the attack kept Avatiu in the game.

Arorangi’s experienced shooters Latisha Mataora and Elena Mataora led the way for the side with their control and shooting accuracy to keep the lead.

The western side held on to win 42-39.

“The final will be a thriller. In the round competition, Tupapa beat Arorangi, so Arorangi will be looking to get one back up. However Tupapa have played a consistent season and just doing the job,” Moeka’a said.

The finals will take place at Tupapa Courts from 6 and under to the premier grade.