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
“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
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