7 Jun 2016

Sport: Cooks women show sevens improvement

11:43 am on 7 June 2016

The recently appointed Cook Islands womens sevens coach says her team has come on in leaps and bounds since she took over the reins in April.

The squad just completed a series of tournaments in Auckland against a number of New Zealand selections and the Manu Sina from Samoa.

They are working towards the Dublin Olympic repechage tournament this month where they will face Hong Kong, Argentina and Kazakstan in their pool.

Crystal Kaua said the team's anerobic fitness had risen by two or three levels over the past seven weeks.

The new Cook Islands women's sevens coach Crystal Kaua during her playing days.

Cook Islands coach, Crystal Kaua, during her playing days. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

She said many of the players also come from various sporting backgrounds which meant their vision and instincts were relatively high.

"The great thing is they all play touch and tag and rugby and they see what's happening in front of them which is something that is quite difficult to teach," Kaua said.

"Being able to put structures and systems around such natural talent, that's what makes this team really exciting and gives them so much potential."

Kaua said she was happy with the pool her team had been drawn in for the Dublic contest.

Kaua helped coach a New Zealand Barbarians team in Hong Kong this year which featured many of her players and she the squad can draw from that experience.

"Earlier this year we played six games against the Hong Kong team in Hong Kong and so that is a great thing for us in terms of that knowledge base around how they play," she said.

"We are just going to go through video footage or whatever footage we can get of the other teams and seeing how they play. It's exciting. I think we have a good pool to be able to play our style of rugby."

The Cook Islands finished third at the Oceania Sevens Championship.

The Cook Islands finished third at the Oceania Sevens Championship. Photo: RNZI

The team for the Olympic Repechage Tournament in Dublin 25-26 June:

  • Margarette Nena
  • Kimiora Nati
  • Larissa Marino Anderson
  • Ariona Iremia
  • Teiti Tupuna
  • Elizabeth Pera
  • Charntay Poko
  • Wairakau Greig
  • Vaine Greig
  • Apii Nicholls
  • Anneka Stephens
  • Beniamina Koiatu

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