The Otumoetai Eels Rugby League Club is continuing to prove its worth in this year's rugby league season, with both senior sides securing wins at the weekend.
The Otumoetai Eels' Senior Reserves and Premiers scored wins against Pikiao at Mitchell Park in Tauranga on Saturday, continuing their unbeaten streak so far.
Before the Premier game Eels coach Alex Parker spoke with the players about the importance of brotherhood and finding their identity as a team - and that was exactly what they did.
Detroit Paki was again a standout for the Otumoetai side, consistently playing tough, uncompromising rugby league. Another player to watch is Tamati Robens, who despite switching codes this season, blew the opposition defence away on the wing.
Floy Te Kani continues to direct the team efficiently, while Sione Vaka was outstanding in his first game for the prems, with his high energy on attack being a key factor in the team securing a 42-10 win.
Pikiao prem coach Jason Parata said despite the loss, the team played better on Saturday than they did previously.
"It was an improvement, we showed a bit of commitment to each other," Parata said.
The side, which is down 13 players from last season due to retirement, players overseas and injuries, fell flat in the second half because of a lack of fitness.
"It's a work in progress."
Parata said Pikiao were a young team and although it would take time to develop the players, the movement would be good for the future of the club.
He mentioned halfback Uru Hohepa as a standout on the day, playing his first full prem game, going up against quality players and not looking out of place.
"It's a promising time for us."
Parata was still hopeful for the season, setting his sights on finishing in the top four.
"Anything can happen in a game."
Meanwhile, the Otumoetai Eels Senior Reserves versus Pikiao Senior Reserves match saw everyone arrive with passion and heart for a great game.
With nobody on the bench, the Eels' reserves dug deep, depended on each other to get over the line and were valiant in winning 32–6. Standout players for the local side included longtime war horse Vance Te Utupoto, Josh Pawa and Shannon Smith.
Pacific 32 vs Taupo 28
Taneatua 74 vs Putauaki 6
Otumoetai 32 vs Pikiao 6
Papamoa 4 vs Tauhara 22
Ngongotaha 24 vs Mangakino 32
Taupo 12 vs Pacific 34
Otumoetai 42 vs Pikiao 10