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Discipline tested in close Mixed Touch contest

Monday 12 February 2024 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Sports, Touch Rugby


Discipline tested in close Mixed Touch contest
Team JAWs led by Billy Bush, standing second from right, lost to an experienced Team KAPs 2-6 on Wednesday last week. Cook Islands Touch/ 24021113

Tempers flared in last Wednesday’s Cook Island Touch Association mixed competition match between defending champions 007 and Team Outlaws, held at the National Stadium in Nikao.

Team Outlaws, who won the 2024 Cook Islands Beach Touch Games held last month, overcame defending champions 007 in an intense tussle last week.

Cook Islands Touch Association president Julieanne (Julz) Westrupp said: “Some very fast plays were made by both teams and both teams scored one after the other. Discipline was a factor in this game as verbal abuse started to creep in from time to time from both sides,” Westrupp said.

She said 007’s Chris Bishop maintained his composure but wasn’t able to sustain his hold for the entire game.

Once again, Oscar Wichman showed his skills with his deceptive dives, scoring tries four metres out from the try line. The Outlaws emerged victorious in a close contest, winning 10-7.

In the other matches, Nukz Power proved their dominance once again after defeating CISNOC 10-1 while Team KAPs overcame Team JAWs 6-2.

Westrupp said Nukz Power team leader, Vernon Horn, was nowhere to be seen during the match as other players, such as young player Tuffy, Maru, and Stanley Tutai, were given the opportunity to lead the middles.

She said that from time-to-time Hinnah Tatuava and Mahana Sijp jumped into the middle to give the game some flair from a female perspective.

Westrupp said CISNOC never gave up and showed some good moments but just didn’t have the experience to compete against the Nukz Power team. 

Nukz Power maintained their composure and emerged victorious 10-1.

In the final game of the day, Team JAWs took on Team KAPs.

Team KAPS, an experienced team led by Viiga Ruepena and Vou Williams, played a more structured game using the women out on the wings displaying scoring opportunities. 

Westrupp said Team JAWs wore their new uniform, which stood out and gave the atmosphere a cool-slick look.

“Billy Bush did well with his team and the development he continues to do.”

KAPs emerged triumphant with a 6-2 scoreline.

Westrupp reiterates the importance of respect towards referees. These voluntary positions are crucial for the game, and no disrespect will be tolerated, she said.

The Cook Islands Touch Association lacks enough referees and cannot allow teams to choose who officiates their matches.

Westrupp expresses her gratitude to all the volunteers who dedicate their time to refereeing.

Meanwhile Westrupp said a new team will join the mixed grade competition, taking the total teams competing to seven.

The new team Huffin & Puffin will be led by Gary Cribb.

Westrupp explained that this meant that one team would play twice, their first game at 5pm and the second game at 6pm.


Today: Open men’s and women’s: 5pm Field 1 KAPs vs GAT, Field 2 Warriors vs Nukz Power; 5.30pm Field 1 FBI vs Bounty, Field 2 Nukz power vs Nikz; 6pm Field 1 Masters Green vs Gold.