Otumoetai Eels had a win and a loss in difficult conditions at their home ground of Mitchell Park on Saturday.
The first hit out was the Premier 2 team v Tauhara Te Maunga. The Eels wanted to keep their no-loss record this season but knew Tauhara Te Maunga would fight until the end.
The Eels dug deep to survive the 80 minutes with no one on the bench. Unfortunately they suffered their first loss of the season, going down 26-16.
Outstanding players were Peni Tokailagi, Vance Te Utupoto and Keanu Smith.
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Otumoetai Eels Premiers faced a tough battle against the top of the table team Mangakino. At half-time there was a lot of tension with Otumoetai down 4-2. The team pulled together playing for each other in the second half in tough weather conditions.
In the last minutes of the game Pone Kohere broke through to score the match-winning try. Spectators on the clubrooms terrace erupted and jumped for joy as the Otumoetai Eels held on to win 6-4.
Player/coach Alex Parker was devastating in defence throughout the entire match. Dan Holmes put in some massive hits and his hit-up rate continues to be outstanding. New to rugby league, Sione Vaka had an amazing game, frustrating the opposition by breaking the line.
The Eels are home at Mitchell Park again this Saturday. The Premier 2s take on Ngongotaha Chiefs at 1pm and the Premiers face Taneatua Warriors at 2.30pm.