Visitor’s early favourites at the Nines

Monday January 08, 2018 Written by Published in League
A Queensland Kukis player scores a try against Arorangi Bears on day one of the CIRLA Club Nines tournament at the BCI Stadium in Nikao yesterday. The visiting side won the match 24-11. 18010536/ Melody Cargill A Queensland Kukis player scores a try against Arorangi Bears on day one of the CIRLA Club Nines tournament at the BCI Stadium in Nikao yesterday. The visiting side won the match 24-11. 18010536/ Melody Cargill

Queensland Kukis have emerged the early favourites in the Cook Islands Rugby League Association Bluesky Club Nines tournament after a red-hot performance on day one yesterday at the BCI Stadium in Nikao.

 

The Kukis, from Brisbane, remained unbeaten to head into day two competitions as top contenders for the title.

The team, which has the services of five players from the Queensland Cup competition, a tier below NRL, drew their opening match with Avatiu Nikao Eels 4-all.

In their second match, the side defeated Arorangi Bears 24-11 before beating Titikaveka Bulldogs 27-20 and Takuvaine Warriors 20-4.

Today the team will take on Ngatangiia Matavera Sea Eagles and Tupapa Panthers in their last two matches.

Defending champions Eels remain in the hunt for their third CIRLA Nines title despite a slow start to their campaign.

After a 4-all start against the Queensland Kukis, the side drew with the Bulldogs in their second match 14-all.

The Clive Nicholas-led side put on a strong performance against the Sea Eagles, beating them 22-0 in their third match before taking on the Warriors later in the afternoon.

The Eels will play the Bears and the Panthers in their final two matches today.

The Bulldogs, who won the main competition last year, claimed their opening match against the Sea Eagles 29-10 before drawing with Eels 14-14.

The side lost to the Queensland Kukis in the third match but salvaged an 11-all draw against the Panthers.

Tournament organising committee member Robert Graham said they saw some exciting matches on day one.

He said the intensity would increase today as teams try to win their remaining matches to make it through to the semi-finals.

The top side after the preliminary competition will play the fourth placed team in the opening semi-final at 3pm, followed by the second and third place finishers in the other semis.

The fifth and sixth placed teams will battle it out in a playoff.

The final is scheduled for 5pm, after the third place playoff match between the two semis losers at 4.30pm.

Meanwhile, the junior competition will kick off at 10am today with a special programme for the under-13s which includes free t-shirt giveaways and sausage sizzles.

Tickets cost $7 at the gate.

Results; Day One – Queensland Kukis 4 Eels 4, Sea Eagles 10 Bulldogs 29, Warriors 10 Panthers 37, Bears 11 Queensland Kukis 24, Eels 14 Bulldogs 14, Panthers 22 Sea Eagles 4, Warriors 10 Bears 26, Queensland Kukis 27 Bulldogs 20, Eels 22 Sea Eagles 0, Panthers 6 Bears 12, Queensland Kukis 20 Warriors 4, Panthers 11 Bulldogs 11

Fixtures  Day Two – 12.00pm Queensland Kukis-Sea Eagles, 12.25pm Panthers-Eels, 12.50pm Bulldogs-Bears, 1.15pm Sea Eagles-Warriors, 1.40pm Queensland Kukis-Panthers, 2.05pm Eels-Bears, 2.30pm Warriors-Bulldogs 

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