Residents wary of Tri challenge

Wednesday October 17, 2018 Written by Published in League
The Ozzie Cooks from Australia will be out to retain the title in the Tri Series which starts on Saturday. 18101633 The Ozzie Cooks from Australia will be out to retain the title in the Tri Series which starts on Saturday. 18101633

The stage is set for the Tri-Series rugby league battle which starts this Saturday at the BCI Stadium in Nikao.

 

Residents XIII will take on Ozzie Cooks from Australia and Motu Koita from Papua New Guinea (PNG) in the biennial contest.

Residents XIII coach Darren Piri said their preparation had been affected by low turnout of players at training.

However he was impressed with the commitment of the younger players who are likely to get their big break in the Tri-Series.

“The turnout hasn’t been that good. There is a lot of things happening (on the island) and I guess that might have affected the turnout,” Piri said.

“Despite that, the boys are looking forward to Saturday. This Tri-Series will be an opportunity for them to gauge their performance and see where they stand.”

While the local team is considered the favourites for the title, Piri said they were wary of the challenge from the visitors.

“We have played the Ozzie Cooks before so we know what to expect but the PNG side is new and we are not aware of what they will bring to the competition,” he said.

“It will be exciting competition and I hope the people get behind the team and support us in the upcoming matches.”

Cook Islands Rugby League president Charles Carlson is pleased with the inclusion of the women’s teams into the tournament.

“This is excellent for women to have them included in the Tri-Series,” Carlson said.

“Our performance at the World Cup 2017 beating England and then a bronze medal during the Commonwealth tournament certainly helped lift the profile of our Cook Islands women in the region and internationally.”

Carlson said they were also excited to host the PNG side in the competition.

“A provincial side, the Motu Koita from PNG, will fill the gap for the New Zealand Cook Islands Rugby League who are unable to attend the tournament,” he said.

“PNG is very passionate about rugby league and they are here to win. “The Ozzie Cooks had a warm up game against the Australia-based Samoa side so they are also prepared to defend their title.” 

Fixtures

Game 1 will be on Saturday between Resident XIII and Ozzie Cooks 3pm kick off, Game 2 Monday, October 22 will be between Ozzie Cooks and PNG 4pm kick off, Game 3 on Wednesday, October 24 will be between Resident XIII and PNG 4pm kick off.

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