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Cook Island Residents aim for Vodafone 15s Series glory

The Cook Islands Residents’ rugby team’s quest to secure their first Vodafone Tri-Nations 15s Series hangs by a thread after losing their first game.

The Cook Islanders have not won a series since the tournament started in 2020 and was won by Tokouso which is made up of players from Tonga and Samoa playing in their local club competitions.

Their campaign suffered a major setback after losing 24-22 to Tokouso at Victoria Park in Tupapa last week, but the loss has not dampened their spirits.

Action from The Cook Islands Residents and Tabusoro-Fiji in one of their past Vodafone Tri Nations 15s Series. Picture: Vodafone Cook Islands Facebook 

The Cook Islands coach Darren Piri said losing a game was always disappointing for any team, but considering the circumstances the team had been through, the players did their best.

“We are still in contention, we need to come back together and put on a better structure of the play. The boys want to come and play, they want to improve their game personally and as a group,” Mr. Piri told their local media.

The Cook Islands Residents’ rugby team’s quest to secure their first Vodafone Tri-Nations 15s Series hangs by a thread after losing their first game. Picture: Vodafone Cook Islands Facebook 

The Cook Islands Residents have a formidable forward pack but unlike Tokouso and Tabusoro, they don’t have specialist backline players. According to Mr. Piri, they make do with what they have.

Cook Islands Rugby Union development manager Ben Koteka told local media that surprisingly Tokouso team’s scrum laid the foundation for their victory.

Vodafone Tri Nations 15s Series, team captains and officials. Picture: Vodafone Cook Islands Facebook 

They are scheduled to face Tabusoro – Fiji at The Swamp in Avatiu, but the match will be confirmed by the Cook Islands Rugby Union due to the torrential rain during the week.

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Tabusoro is made up of Fijian players playing club rugby in the island nation.

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