League wins first medal

Tuesday July 09, 2019 Written by Published in League
Cook Islands rugby league side after claiming the bronze medal in league Nines in Samoa yesterday. 19070836 Cook Islands rugby league side after claiming the bronze medal in league Nines in Samoa yesterday. 19070836

TEAM Cook Islands has claimed its first medal at the 2019 Pacific Games.

 

The women's rugby league Nines team beat hosts Samoa in the bronze medal final last night, in what was a highly physical battle.

"I'm over the moon, totally ecstatic right now," said captain Margarette Nena after the game.

It is the first time women's rugby league nines has featured at a Pacific Games.

The Cook Islands was unlucky to not make the gold medal final, narrowly losing their semi-final match against Papua New Guinea 14-8.

Following the loss, the ladies were determined to snatch a bronze.

The team had previously defeated Samoa in their first match of competition but knew it would be more difficult against the host nation the second time around.

Nena noted the efforts of former national sprinter Patricia Taea, who ended the match with two tries.

"It was awesome to be able to spread the ball out to Patty that was always the game plan," she said.

Cook Islands scored their first two tries straight up the middle, exploiting a weak Samoan centre. However, Samoa struck back at the stroke of halftime, bringing the score to 8-4.

But the Cook Islanders were not going to leave the game to chance and came out firing after the half. The team scored two quick tries within minutes of each other, to gain a comfortable 10 point advantage. Their pace and structure proving too strong for their opponents.

Samoa fought hard and had a number of opportunities to bring the game within one try, but the Cook Islands defence held strong.

With a vocal support crew behind them, the Cook Islanders held on to claim a bronze. The players were ecstatic with their feat, as were their fans in attendance.

Nena said the team would celebrate with "a few quiet cups of tea".

Following the match, the team was greeted by the sounds of Cook Islands drums and cheers from the stands.

In typical Cook Islands fashion, they celebrated with an ura.

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