League hails successful season

Wednesday June 05, 2019 Written by Published in League
Ngatangiia Matavera Sea Eagles players and fans celebrate after winning the 2019 Raro Cars Rugby League Competition on Saturday. Ngatangiia Matavera Sea Eagles players and fans celebrate after winning the 2019 Raro Cars Rugby League Competition on Saturday.

Ngatangiia Matavera Sea Eagles’ historic unbeaten record in the Raro Cars Rugby League Competition 2019 has set a new bar in the domestic league competition.


The Sea Eagles defeated last year’s champions Tupapa Panthers 26-6 in the final to become the first team to finish the competition with all wins.

Cook Islands Rugby League competition coordinator Tai Nelio while congratulating the Muri-based side said they deserved the grand win.

“History is in the making by the Sea Eagles, unbeaten the whole season. A feat never achieved before by any club … came close I was told but a draw,” Nelio said.

“The village is alive and hoping to continue this winning spirit and form years to come.”

Nelio paid tribute to the Papua New Guinea (PNG) imports in the Sea Eagles outfit for lifting the standard of the competition.

Ben Wemin, Stanley Olo and Mel Isaac were instrumental for the Sea Eagles this season. Wemin was also the player of the match in Saturday’s showdown.

“The PNG trio is the best buy this year, again introduced into our little competition. Strength, power and agility is probably the best label I can paint on these boys. These are the basic need of a rugby league player. That’s what we are lacking in our local players – as well as pace.

“They have helped the Sea Eagles club set the bar and level for other teams to think seriously for next year.”

Nelio was also pleased with the level of support for teams throughout the season, especially in the final.

“I have not seen a big crowd like that came to watch a grand finale a long time. The atmosphere was just awesome,” he added.

“I mean look at the club level games, the crowd and support has been tremendous the whole season.”

Nelio paid tribute to the junior grade teams for putting on a brave fight in the age group competitions.

“Not to forget our junior grades, they have played good football all season. It's in the pipeline to give more effort to develop and help our juniors. They are after all our stars of tomorrow.”

Meanwhile the Cook Islands Rugby League hailed the 2019 league season a success and thanked their major sponsor Raro Cars and other supporters for making the competition a memorable one.

“It’s been a fantastic season for Cook Islands Rugby League. I take my hat off to the organisers, executives and committees, club managements, players and supporters for a great year,” Nelio said.

“I think it’s safe to say rugby league is the 'live horse' in Cook Islands sport now.

“And I want to say thank you atupaka to Don Carlaw and Raro Cars and all our sponsors, without them coming on board to help we won't see that great success this season.

“Congratulations all and well done. Thank you for a great season.”  

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