Nelson tasted international rugby this week when the Cook Islands faced The Mako XV Tasman at Tāhunanui Beach. The home team won 31-24 in a closely watched match played. In front of several hundred spectators on Wednesday afternoon at the Tāhunanui pitch. And France Rugby World Cup 2023 tickets are available on our website.
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The match served as a warm-up for the Tasman’s upcoming NPC campaign. And therefore the Rugby World Cup qualifier within the Cook Islands later this month.
Originally scheduled to be played at Trafalgar Park. The venue had to change at the last minute due to heavy rain in Nelson overnight. The Rugby World Cup tickets 2023 are available on our website at highly discountable prices.
Mako XV is mainly made up of development players. With seven Tasmanian all-black players and some key members of the NPC team rested. While there were many new faces, several members of the 2020 Championship winning team also took over the field. Including Captain Quentin MacDonald, Isaac Salmon, and Te Ahiwar Cirikidaret.
While Mako dominated in sets and had most of the territory. And possession in the first half, they split 14-12 in the first half. Mako Saul Lewis’ right-wing, on a 40-meter drive. And made his way past the defender to open the scoring, with left-wing Amanaki Veamatahau making it 12-0 shortly after.
Cook Islanders, however, struck with two late tries in the first half. Including a brilliant counter-attack at half-time that ended with defender Te Puhi Rudolph’s goal under the bar.
In the second half, the home side scored three more tries to take the lead. Including two for captain MacDonald, with midfielder Viliami Napa’a scoring in the game.
The match was part of the Cook Islands’ preparation for their 2023 Rugby World Cup qualifying campaign in France. The Rugby fans can also buy RWC 2023 tickets from our website.
Tonga, Samoa, and the Cook Islands are in New Zealand this month for the final round of Rugby World Cup qualifying. However, After covid-19 problems forced the cancellation of Oceania’s qualifying tournament in Papua New Guinea in June.
Due to time constraints for qualifying, the Cook Islands advanced to the next round. As the best qualifier, knocking Papua New Guinea, Niue, Solomon Islands, and Tahiti out of contention. In the next two weeks, Tonga and Samoa will be looking to secure Oceania 1’s place at the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
The loser in this playoff will face the Cook Islands on July 24. With the winner of that match going into the Asia-Pacific qualifier against Hong Kong, Korea or Malaysia.
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