31 Aug 2010

Cook Islands motivated to secure place in world rugby trophy

11:31 am on 31 August 2010

It's a simple equation for the Cook Islands' Under 19 rugby team today: beat Vanuatu and they qualify for next years Junior World Rugby Trophy.

After a one-point triumph over Papua New Guinea last week another victory would see them top pool two and set up a grand final showdown with host nation Samoa.

Vanuatu were thrashed 67-nil by Papua New Guinea last week but the Cook Islands' coach, Damien Beddoes, says he's told his team not to take anything for granted.

"We've reminded the players basically that at present PNG stands at six points on the table, having completed their two pool games, and ourselves are only at four points. So it's a huge motivator that we have not actually yet qualified for the final of the FORU Cup and also the the final qualification for the world cup. So the boys are under no illusion that at this stage we haven't qualified and we must close out this game and complete in order to go through."

The day's other matches see American Samoa and Tahiti both fighting for their first win of the tournament, while Samoa and Papua New Guinea will play a friendly game.