Panthers unbeaten run under threat

Saturday August 08, 2020 Written by Published in League
Arorangi Cowboys defeated Takitumu 40-12 at Raemaru Park last Saturday. The side will play Tupapa Panthers at 4pm today. 20080769 Arorangi Cowboys defeated Takitumu 40-12 at Raemaru Park last Saturday. The side will play Tupapa Panthers at 4pm today. 20080769

Tupapa Panthers’ unbeaten run in the Rarotonga Club 15s competition will be tested today by a spirited and determined Arorangi Cowboys side.

The two teams will clash in the feature match of round three at Nukupure Park in Ngatangiia.

Defending champions Panthers are unbeaten from two matches so far. The side thumped Takitumu 60-0 in round one before beating Avatiu Eels 19-16 last week.

The Cowboys made a losing start to their season after going down to the Eels 7-16 before bouncing back to thrash Takitumu 40-12 last Saturday.

Panthers coach Darren Piri said they cannot underestimate the Cowboys.

“It’s still early times in the season and anything could happen at this stage of the competition,” Piri said.

“We are always wary of other teams and we know the Cowboys will come all out wanting to win. We will also go out there with the same intention.”

Piri said there were no injuries to the side that battled against the Eels in a close and torrid encounter last week.

However, he said their training for the Cowboys match was affected by a number of factors including the flood on Thursday.

“But it’s no excuse when you go play rugby.”

Cowboys coach Tavake Karika said the onus was on the players to step up on the day and put their best performance against a top side like the Panthers.

“Tupapa has always been a top team to play with and for us, it’s all about sticking to the game plan, doing nothing fancy and utilising the opportunities we create in the match.”

The win against Takitumu was a good platform to build from, said Karika.

“It has set a good, strong foundation for us. We are still building that foundation and it’s the matter of taking the right direction from here,” he said.

“We also tend to include new blood into the system so our senior players can mentor them and prepare them for the future.”

In the other Senior A match at 2.30pm, Avatiu Eels will take on the winless Takitumu.

Entry fee is $3 per person and for children under-16, its free.

Fixtures

Ngatangiia Field – 11am: Juniors U9s, U11s & U13s – Quick Rip, half field

Refs: Club Officials; 12pm: U16 Rugby 10s Town-Country (Refs: Ben Koteka, Assist. Ref: Peni Lio/Roi Ioana); 12.40pm: U19 Town-Country (Refs: Paul Allsworth, Assist. Peni Lio/Roi Ioana); 2pm: Women’s – Quick Rip / Rugby 7s: Town-Country (Refs: Ben Koteka, Assist. Ref: Club Officials); 2.30pm: Senior A Takitumu-Avatiu/Nikao Eels (Refs: Peter Godfrey, Assist. Ref: Dawn Crummer/Ben Koteka); 4pm: Senior A Arorangi Cowboys-Tupapa Panthers (Refs: Teokotai Tuaivi Jnr, Assist. Ref: Tua Ngaputa/Paul Allsworth. Sub Bench: Paul Peryroux/Tua Ngaputa)

 

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