Tears of joy and disappointment were seen at the touch rugby men’s and women’s finals yesterday when the Cook Islands women’s team gracefully accepted the silver medal while the local men’s team celebrated with their gold medal.
The Cook Islands women’s team had a convincing win over Niue 7-1 to head straight into the finals against Samoa.
But fatigue and straying away from the set game plan contributed to the Cooks’ lacklustre gold medal finals match against a pumped Samoan women’s side.
Team co-captain Mary Adams says that while the team is very disappointed to not retain their ‘golden girls’ title – they were proud of the fact that they fought hard from a 2-0 deficit
at the half time break to keep the pressure on Samoa who eventually won the match by one try 5-4.
“We didn’t move the ball as often as we should have and that was definitely part of why we lost,” says Adams.
The team gracefully accepted the loss and with heads held high stood on the silver medal podium to receive their prize.
The women’s medal presentation was a complete reverse of the 2007 South Pacific Games awards as that year the Cook Islands girls snatched the gold off Samoa but it was Samoa who had the clear path to the gold medal podium this time round.
Taking out bronze was the tiny island of Niue.
The girls still have a chance to wear a gold medal with the mixed competition due to start on Tuesday.
The local men’s team on the other hand took the straightest line to the gold medal finals match by beating all their opponents to meet a feisty Fiji side in the finals.
But the local boys were just too composed and cleaned up Fiji 9-4 to win the medal and feel what the team didn’t in Samoa 2007.
Fiji were more than happy to pick up the silver medal with Samoa taking the bronze medal.
The team was overcome with emotion as the national anthem of the Cook Islands rang out across the CIFA grounds with some of the boys shedding a tear or two.
The team managed to keep their excitement of winning gold under wraps until the formal ceremony was over before they shared the moment with their families.
Congratulations to our touch guys and gals and good luck on the field next week. - Matariki Wilson: Cook Islands News
Last Modified on 27/09/2009 08:01