Taiki, the president of the Tupapa Maraerenga Panthers Masters League, was also selected for the second time to join the New Zealand side – made up of former well-known players.
Taiki, 66, continues to participate in league, for health and fitness, and to keep active in the community.
Two other players from the Cook Islands, Sam Toroma, and Andrew Akavi were also chosen to join the New Zealand Masters Rugby League International League (13 a side), to play the opposing Australia Masters team.
The Panther Masters have attended the Masters of Rugby League International League tournament annually, for the past five years.
They put in a great effort winning all their four round games against Australian teams Marton Bears, Silverbacks 1, Masters All Stars and Silverbacks 2, at the games held on the Gold Coast, Australia.
Players and supporters enjoy the spirit of the Masters League games that supports men’s prostate and women’s breast cancer foundations.
Team coach Henry Tupa was pleased with the results, players attitude, performance, representations and not forgetting the ‘devotions’ that everyone contributed to each day.
Teams from Australia, Great Britain, Tonga, and New Zealand participated in the event that was hosted by Southport Tigers Rugby League Club and RSL Club Southport from September 28 to October 4.
The next tournament will be hosted in New Zealand in 2020. “Join us and make it happen,” says Taiki.
The team acknowledge the support of Member of Parliament, George Angene and family, Tupapa Maraerenga Sports Association, players, families and friends here and abroad.
“Meitaki Atupaka also to Papa Joe Takave and Mama Ann of Coolangatta, Australia for the hospitality.”
Colour coded shorts for the age groups are categorised as: 35 to 39 years - white shorts, 40 to 49 years – black shorts, 50 to 59 years – red shorts, 60 to 69 years – gold shorts, 70 to 79 years – green shorts, 80 years and over – blue shorts.
The Tupapa Maraerenga Panthers Masters League executive are: President – Ioana Taiki. Vice President – Joe Tommy, secretary – Roimata Vakatini, treasurer – Rae Tupa, coach – Henry Tupa.