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Strong start gives Tokouso win over Fiji Residents: Moananu

Tuesday 13 June 2023 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in League, Sports


Strong start gives Tokouso win over Fiji Residents: Moananu
Tokouso – Samoa/Tonga Residents player tries to pick up the ball against Tabusoro Fiji Residents at Nukupure Park in Ngatangiia on Saturday. LOSIRENE LACANIVALU/23061006

A strong start by Tokouso – Samoa/Tonga Residents handed them a 36-24 win over Tabusoro Fiji Residents in game two of the Cook Islands Rugby League Tri Nations Series at Nukupure Park in Ngatangiia on Saturday.

Tokouso took a solid 12-0 lead after scoring two early tries in the match. The side led 24-10 at the break and scored three more tries in the second spell to claim the win.

The loss means Fiji Residents are out of contention for the series title after going down to Cook Islands Residents 22-40 in game one.

Tokouso team official Okesene Moananu said their strong start set platform for the win.

“I think the boys started really well but just sort of lacked concentration during spells within the game. I think we had chance to really put our foot on the throat and put them under more pressure but I guess, and credit to the Fijian team, they never gave up and punished us for the mistake that we made,” Moananu said.

Tabusoro Fiji Residents spokesperson Pita Senibiakula said their defence let them down again.

“We had the same weakness against Cook Islands which was our defence in the middle. The strong Tokouso forwards pushed their way through but we tried our best to open up the game and play it wide,” Senibiakula said.

“We managed to score tries from that but unfortunately the damage was already done in the first half.

“Our boys did really well given that we didn’t have our key players especially those who have been playing league for a while, we had a lot of players who never played league before.

“It (the series) was a good learning experience for us and there are a lot of things to work on in lead up to next year’s series, I know it will be bigger and better next year.”

Tokouso will play Cook Islands Residents in the final leg this weekend with the winner taking home the inaugural Tri Nations Series title.

Moananu said: “I think this week will be a lot harder. We saw the way the Cook Islands played in the first match, they got a good structure and strong players in key positions and within their team. It will be a massive challenge for us and we need to prepare really well.”

“The key for us is to improve on our completion, completing our sets, and be a bit more patient and have better control of the ball when we got possession. We also need to have better discipline.”