Germinators defeated favourites GAT in a thrilling final to claim the Vodafone Cook Islands Men’s Touch Competition at Nikao field on Monday.
In the women’s final, Nukz Power maintained their dominant form to overcome former champions FBI.
GAT headed into the men’s final as the favourites after finishing the round robin competition ahead of Germinators.
But with Conrad Piri directing the play and throwing some great passes, the Germinators took an early 2-0 lead.
However, GAT came back in the second half with Juwaan Terekia setting up their first try and scoring one himself to level the score 2-all.
Remaining composed, the Germinators, who had more fresh legs, were able to pull away with an important last try from Piri that helped them claim the title, with a 3-2 win.
The men’s third place playoff was won by Team ATT who defeated Rakahanga 4-3.
In the hotly-contested women’s final, favourites Nukz Power came out strong early into the match to lead 1-0. FBI equalised soon, thanks to a gallant effort from youngster Tepaeru Ngaroi, who split the opposition defence, to tie the game 1-1 at half-time.
Nukz Power again came out firing with another trademark five metre play from Julz Westrupp that caught the FBI defenders off-side. The side led 2-1 for most of the match until veteran FBI player Daphne Brown again created space to put young speedster Ngaroi clear for the equaliser.
The drop-off was a torrid affair that saw the teams drop down to three players a side. It took the experience of national reps Julz Westrupp and Rima Browne to finally split the FBI defence with a great roll on that allowed them to score in the corner and win the final 3-2.
The women’s third place playoff went to Bounty Hunters who defeated NIKS 4-3.
Daphne Brown, the president of Cook Islands Touch, congratulated the winners.
“Well done to all the teams for an awesome season of Touch despite the challenge of Covid-19. The games this season have been of a high standard and the top teams had to work hard to win.”
The team prizes were presented by Vodafone Cook Islands representative Julz Westrupp.
Brown said: “Cook Islands Touch and the players thank Vodafone Cook Islands for its generous sponsorship of the competition.”
The Vodafone Mixed Touch competition continues this week with the semi-finals games. The format will see the teams split into two pools of the top four being the Cup finals and the bottom four the plate finals.
In each pool, the first placed on the table will play the fourth placed and second placed will take on the third place.
007 19, ICI 18, KAPS 17, Mangaia 15, Vodafone 15, BSP 11, Team ATT 9, Tuanga Taporoporo 7
5pm Field 1 Vodafone-Tuanga Taporoporo (mx), Field 2 O07-Mangaia (mx); 5.30pm Field 1 ICI Transformers-KAPS (mx), Field 2 BSP-Team ATT (mx)