Swamp to host big 15s rugby decider

Thursday September 27, 2018 Written by Published in Rugby Union
Avatiu Eels’ John Pierre pops a pass to Tevita Niusama (15) against Takuvaine Reds on Saturday. Eels lost 10-16, however their fi eld, The Swamp, will host the fi nal this Saturday. Pictures of Panthers / Cowboys clash on page 10. 18092417 Avatiu Eels’ John Pierre pops a pass to Tevita Niusama (15) against Takuvaine Reds on Saturday. Eels lost 10-16, however their fi eld, The Swamp, will host the fi nal this Saturday. Pictures of Panthers / Cowboys clash on page 10. 18092417

Avatiu’s The Swamp will host the 2018 Rarotonga Club 15s showdown this Saturday.

 

The final will be held between neighbours Tupapa Panthers and Takuvaine Reds who made it through after a torrid battle in last week’s semifinals.

The Panthers defeated Arorangi Cowboys 25-18 while the Reds overcame defending champions Avatiu Nikao Eels 16-10.

Cook Islands Rugby Union development manager Ben Koteka said the venue had been finalised and they were excited for the final.

He said the mixed weather this week which had some rain would not affect the field as the ground was hard.

“If anything, this rain will soften the field. Rain or hail, we will go ahead with the final. It doesn’t matter to the teams who are looking forward to it and it will be an exciting one,” Koteka said.

The finale will kick off with the junior competition at 11am. Teams will be battling it out in the Under-9 and U11 categories. This will be followed by the U16 final.

“The Senior A final will start at 4pm. We are expecting and hoping for a good turnout from the supporters of the two teams and others this weekend.”

The Darren Piri-coached Panthers which finished on top after the preliminary rounds will head into the final as the favourites.

However Vase Samania’s Reds have made a good impression especially in the second round, coming back from the dead, to vie for the title.

Both teams have met twice this season with the Panthers winning the first match while the Reds taking out the second one.

The final is expected to be a close one with the Panthers and the Reds boasting some quality players in the forwards as well as in the backline.

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