After the formation of the Cook Islands Rugby League Association (CIRLA) Junior Development committee last week, the national body hopes for a more effective competition at the age-group level this season.
The committee is headed by Lydia Nga, who was appointed the chairperson at a special CIRLA meeting on Wednesday.
“The format and new approach starts this weekend, with all clubs playing at one venue each week with one under-19s match between the Bulldogs and Bears kicking off on Friday at 5pm in Titikaveka,” said CIRLA competition coordinator Taua Benioni.
“Two reserve-grade matches will also have their first hit out this Saturday. Takuvaine Warriors playing the Tupapa Panthers on neutral grounds in Ngatangiia and the Titikaveka Bulldogs running on against the Arorangi Bears at Teimurimotia Park with both matches starting at 3.30pm.”
In the premier clashes, which will be held tomorrow, Ngatangiia Matavera Sea Eagles will host the Panthers, while defending champions Titikaveka Bulldogs will take on the Bears.
The Sea Eagles lost to the Bears while Panthers defeated the Warriors last week.
“Due to the bereavement notice of Avatiu rugby league vice-president and past president Mama (Cam) Tetauru, the Eels versus Warriors match will be postponed until further notice,” said Benioni.
“The CIRLA gives their deepest and sincere condolences to Papa (Cam) Vaiimene and family and the Avatiu Sports and Rugby League Association.”
Meanwhile, Benioni said they were pleased with the performance of the teams in round one last week.
“It was a great start for rugby league last weekend and CIRLA intend to improve as we move through our 2018 rugby league competition.”
Today - Teimurimotia Park at 5pm: U19s, Bulldogs-Bears; Tomorrow - Nukupure Park at 11am: Junior development U11s, 13s etc; 3.30pm: Reserves, Warriors-Panthers; 5pm: Premiers, Sea Eagles-Panthers; Teimurimotia Park at 3.30pm: Reserves, Bulldogs-Bears.
Warriors versus Eels match postponed due to bereavement.