Queensland Kukis win Nines title

Monday January 08, 2018 Written by Published in League
The visiting Queensland Kukis players and supporters with the Cook Islands Rugby League Association Bluesky Club Nines tournament title after their win on Saturday. 18010760 The visiting Queensland Kukis players and supporters with the Cook Islands Rugby League Association Bluesky Club Nines tournament title after their win on Saturday. 18010760

Queensland Kukis held off a late barrage of attack from the Arorangi Bears to claim the Cook Islands Rugby League Association Bluesky Club Nines tournament title over the weekend.

 

The debutants were made to work hard in defence in the second half of the fiercely-competed final, which they won 12-5 on Saturday at the BCI Stadium in Nikao.

The win saw the side from Brisbane take home the title from the third tournament as well as $5000 prize money.

The Queensland Kukis, who maintained an unbeaten record on day one on Friday, came out firing with another impressive performance on day two to keep their winning streak alive.

The side drew against the Avatiu Nikao Eels 4-4 in their opening match before winning against the Bears 24-11, Titikaveka Bulldogs 27-20, TKV Warriors 20-4, Ngatangiia Matavera Sea Eagles 35-4 and Tupapa Panthers 27-0 in their other matches in the preliminary rounds.

After finishing on top, the Queensland Kukis took on fourth-placed defending champions the Eels in the opening semi-final.

The tit-for-tat battle saw the two-time champions run away with an early 14-7 lead in the opening half.

However, the visitors came out strong in the second half and scored two tries to narrowly beat the Eels 15-14.

In the other semis, the Bears put on a dominant performance against Titikaveka Bulldogs to win the match 23-8.

In the third place playoff, the Bulldogs defeated the Eels 17-12.

In the final, the Queensland Kukis team, which featured five players from the Queensland Cup competition, got off to a superb start, scoring three unanswered tries in the opening spell to lead 12-0.

The Bears, coached by former Kiwi international Kevin Iro, crawled back into the game in the second half, but fell short of victory, going down 5-12 in the end.

Queensland Kukis coach Clive Arona said the players stepped up to the occasion and delivered the result they were gunning for.

“We are pleased to be back in Rarotonga and it’s good to experience the local culture again,” he said.

“We didn’t know what to expect. We knew the competition was always going to be tough, especially playing against the local boys, and I’m happy our boys stepped up to match the level of competition shown by the local teams.

“We are looking forward to returning back next year and we are asking teams from Australia and New Zealand to come and compete in this tournament. It’s an excellent tournament.”

Meanwhile the Cook Islands Rugby League Association will hold a three-day coaching course starting at 5pm today at the CISNOC House in Nikao.

Results

Day One – Queensland Kukis 4 Eels 4, Sea Eagles 10 Bulldogs, 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, Sea Eagles 4 Bears 18, Eels 15 Warriors 18; Day Two – Queensland Kukis 35 Sea Eagles 4, Panthers 7 Eels 21, Bulldogs 19 Bears 11, Sea Eagles 8 Warriors 21, Queensland Kukis 27 Panthers 0, Eels 7 Bears 14, Warriors 6 Bulldogs 32; Playoffs – Semis 1 Queensland Kukis 15 Eels 14, Semis 2 Bulldogs 8 Bears 23; 5/6 playoff Panthers 26 Warriors 8; 3rd place playoff Eels 12 Bulldogs 17; Final Queensland Kukis 12 Bears 5

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