The tournament – held on Monday and Tuesday at The Swamp in Avatiu – saw some exciting games from the six Rarotonga-based clubs.
Tournament director Taua Benioni said as expected, the supporters turned up in numbers, wearing their club colours which was a sign that the league season was on.
“In three weeks’ time, CIRLA competition kicks off on the first weekend of February and will run till the end of May. The whole purpose of this Nines tournament is to prepare and condition the players earlier than usual,” Benioni said.
“It was easy for the guys to run out on to the pitch for the first time in a few months after not having played, but when the ball kicked off, it was very hard 18 minutes of league to contend with especially when there’s four matches to play on a day.” Benioni said the weather did not help the players on the opening day as temperatures soared to 39 degrees, making it difficult for them to play to their best.
But it was a blessing on the second day as it poured, giving the players an opportunity to put on a spectacular show for the spectators.
“The matches saw close results, which made this tournament very entertaining and also showed that the players put in the hard yards during the training.”
Overall, Benioni said it was an excellent two days of rugby league, adding they were now looking forward to kicking off their CIRLA competition.
“As we move forward to our 2017 rugby league season, I encourage clubs to start calling muster days now rather than waiting until first weekend of February.
“On behalf of the Bluesky High Performance Club Nines organising team, I thank each and every one for their support and attendance.
“A special thanks to our sponsors Bluesky, Polynesian Rental Car and Bike Hire, Edgewater, Tourism Cook Island, Predrill Company (Mick and Di from Australia), Island Hopper, Sea Salt Takeaway, Palace Takeaway, Te Puka Store, TEM Stores Tupapa/Ngatangiia, Vaima Water, Cook Islands General Transport and Raro Expo.”