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Sea Eagles eye history

Saturday May 11, 2019 Written by Published in League

History beckons for Ngatangiia Matavera Sea Eagles in the final round of the domestic rugby league competition today.

If the Sea Eagles beat Arorangi Bears in Raro Cars Rugby League 2019 premier match at Raemaru Park, the side will become the first team to finish the preliminary competition undefeated.

 

The Bobby Hansen-coached team has already won the minor premiership and regardless of today’s result, the Sea Eagles will finish on top heading into next week’s playoffs.

The Bears’ third standing on the points table will also not change, even if they are able to pull off a major upset by beating the visitors.

Tupapa Panthers and Avatiu Eels have finished second and fourth, respectively, and are also in the run for the main title.

Local rugby league pundit George George said the clash between the Bears and the Sea Eagles would be an interesting one.

George said the pride of the two teams would be at stake after an exciting opening round clash between them. The Sea Eagles won that encounter at Nukupure Park.

“The Sea Eagles will surely head into this match as the favourites and will want to finish the competition on a high. They know what is at stake – history of becoming the first team to finish the (preliminary round of) the competition without a loss. Nobody expected this from them at the beginning of the season and they have done very well for their village,” George said.

“There have been teams who have come close, having lost a match only, but the Sea Eagles have a chance to create history and I think they will be going all out to achieve that.

“The Sea Eagles are a balanced team and they have maintained a good discipline throughout the competition.”

George said the Bears missed a couple of their key players in round one clash against the Sea Eagles.

He said their return would strengthen the home team and its chance of upsetting the leaders.

“There is one thing for certain, the Bears versus the Sea Eagles will be a cracker of a match.”

Cook Islands Rugby League competition coordinator Tai Nelio said this weekend’s match would set up the tone for next week’s knockouts.

“The Sea Eagles is aiming to maintain and finish the preliminary rounds with their unbeaten achievements into the playoffs and the grand finals,” Nelio said.

Meanwhile Titikaveka Bulldogs, who are placed on fifth spot, have decided to forfeit their match against the sixth placed Aitutaki Sharks because of “some financial strain”.

The match was scheduled to be held yesterday on Aitutaki.

The Bears versus the Sea Eagles premier match will kick off at 4.30pm.

Fixtures

Raemaru Park – 11.10am U9/11 Arorangi Bears-Nga/Mat Sea Eagles, 11.50am

 

U13 Arorangi Bears-Nga/Mat Sea Eagles, 12.40pm U16 Arorangi Bears-Nga/Mat Sea Eagles, 1.30pm U19 Arorangi Bears-Nga/Mat Sea Eagles, 3pm Reserves Avatiu Eels-Arorangi Bears, 4.30pm Premiers Arorangi Bears-Nga/Mat Sea Eagles.