Cook Islands national rugby league team

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Cook Islands
Badge of Cook Islands team
Governing body Cook Islands Rugby League Association
Region Oceania
Head coach David Fairleigh
Captain Zeb Taia
Home stadium Avarua National Stadium
RLIF ranking 14th
Colours
First international
 Niue 8–22 Cook Islands 
(Rarotonga, Cook Islands; 1986)
Biggest win
 United States 8–64 Cook Islands 
(Featherstone, England; 1995)
Biggest defeat
 New Zealand 84–10 Cook Islands 
(Reading, England; 2000)
World Cup
Appearances 2 (first time in 2000)
Best result Group stage, 2000; 2013

The Cook Islands national rugby league team has been participating in international rugby league football competition since 1986.

History[edit]

Before 1995, the Cooks’ international experience was limited to participation in the Pacific Cup, and hosting the touring British Amateur Rugby League Association Great Britain Amateur teams. Nonetheless, the sizeable number of expatriate Cook Islanders living and playing in New Zealand has ensured that they have never been short of players with rugby league experience.

They won the 1995 Emerging Nations tournament, defeating United States, Russia and Scotland before beating Ireland in the final.

In 1996 and 1997 the Cook Islands competed in the Super League World Nines. They also played several full internationals against other South Pacific nations, most notably as part of the Papua New Guinea 50th Anniversary Tournament in October 1998. 2000 saw the Cook Islands competing in the World Cup for the first time. They finished third in their pool after losing to Wales and the Kiwis and only managing a draw against Lebanon.

The Cook Islands successfully toured New Zealand in 2005 with a three test series against the New Zealand Māori ending in a draw after the first test was drawn 26–26 and the second and third tests were split between both sides.

The Cook Islands participated in the 2009 Pacific Cup. Having beaten Samoa to earn a place in the tournament, they went on to defeat favourites Fiji and earn a place in the final of the competition.

2008 World Cup Qualifying[edit]

See 2008 Rugby League World Cup qualifying

The Cook Islands played Fiji, Tonga and Samoa in the Pacific pool of Qualifying for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup. Fiji and Tonga qualified, and Samoa earned a second chance in the repecharge round. The Cook Islands, having lost to all three teams, were eliminated.

2013 Rugby League World Cup[edit]

The Cook Islands were given automatic entry into the 2013 Rugby League World Cup they were placed in Pool D alongside Wales and the United States before playing an Inter-Group match against Tonga. Going into the Tournament, 'the Kukis' had never won a World Cup match. The team lost to the USA and to Tonga, but they won their last match against the Tournament co-hosts Wales, making history for the sport of rugby league in the Cook Islands. This is the Cook Islands' best Rugby League World Cup result to date.

2013 World Cup squad[edit]

The Cook Islands national team squad selected for the 2013 World Cup tournament (appearances, and points, apply for after the tournament finished):

Other Nat. Pos. Player Age Caps Pts Club
New Zealand Fullback Jordan Rapana (1989-08-15) 15 August 1989 (age 25) 2 4 Canberra colours.svg Canberra Raiders
New Zealand Wing Drury Low (1990-04-02) 2 April 1990 (age 24) 3 4 Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury Bulldogs
New Zealand Wing Anthony Gelling (1990-10-18) 18 October 1990 (age 24) 5 4 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors
Samoa Wing Dominique Peyroux (1989-01-21) 21 January 1989 (age 25) 7 20 New Zealand colours.svg New Zealand Warriors
Australia Centre Keith Lulia (1987-06-17) 17 June 1987 (age 27) 5 4 Wests Tigers colours.svg Wests Tigers
Australia Centre Lulia Lulia (1985-05-26) 26 May 1985 (age 29) 5 4 Illawarra colours.svg Illawarra Cutters
Australia Centre Rea Pittman (1993-02-14) 14 February 1993 (age 21) 1 0 Cronulla colours.svg Cronulla Sharks
Australia Centre Tyrone Viiga (1992-06-09) 9 June 1992 (age 22) 3 0 Cronulla colours.svg Cronulla Sharks
Australia Stand-off Johnathon Ford (1989-08-17) 17 August 1989 (age 25) 4 4 ToulouseRLcolours.PNG Toulouse Olympique
Australia Stand-off Chris Taripo (1992-02-19) 19 February 1992 (age 22) 3 28 Newtown colours.svg Newtown Jets
New Zealand Scrum-half Isaac John (1988-12-12) 12 December 1988 (age 26) 4 8 Panthers colours.svg Penrith Panthers
New Zealand Scrum-half Hikule'o Malu (1993-04-05) 5 April 1993 (age 21) 1 0 New Zealand colours.svg New Zealand Warriors
New Zealand Prop Joe Matapuku (1989-04-06) 6 April 1989 (age 25) 5 0 North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney Bears
New Zealand Prop Dylan Napa (1992-11-13) 13 November 1992 (age 22) 3 0 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sydney Roosters
Cook Islands Prop Adam Tangata (1991-03-17) 17 March 1991 (age 23) 4 0 Australian colours.svg Mount Pritchard
New Zealand Hooker Samuel Brunton (1990-02-20) 20 February 1990 (age 24) 4 0 Australian colours.svg Mount Pritchard
Australia Hooker Daniel Fepuleai (1988-11-25) 25 November 1988 (age 26) 6 20 North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney Bears
Cook Islands Second-row Sam Mataora (1990-10-20) 20 October 1990 (age 24) 5 0 Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle Knights
New Zealand Second-row Tupou Sopoaga (1992-06-05) 5 June 1992 (age 22) 2 0 Panthers colours.svg Penrith Panthers
New Zealand Second-row Zeb Taia (Captain) (1984-10-11) 11 October 1984 (age 30) 4 0 Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons
Australia Second-row Brad Takairangi (1989-06-14) 14 June 1989 (age 25) 5 10 Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta Eels
New Zealand Second-row Zane Tetevano (1990-11-04) 4 November 1990 (age 24) 4 0 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
New Zealand Lock Tinirau Arona (1989-05-08) 8 May 1989 (age 25) 9 4 Cronulla colours.svg Cronulla Sharks

Notable players[edit]

Competitions[edit]

The Cook Islands have participated in:

Results[edit]

Official Rankings as of December 2014[1]
Rank Change Team Points
1 Steady  Australia 984.00
2  New Zealand 884.00
3  England 485.00
4 Increase  Samoa 316.00
5 Decrease  France 215.00
6  Fiji 184.00
7 Increase  Ireland 154.00
8  Scotland 123.00
9 Decrease  Wales 122.00
10  United States 119.00
11  Papua New Guinea 112.00
12 Steady  Italy 79.00
13 Increase  Serbia 49.00
14  Canada 49.00
15 Decrease  Russia 45.00
16  Tonga 32.00
17  Cook Islands 31.00
18 Steady  Germany 27.00
19  Norway 22.00
20  Ukraine 21.00
21  Lebanon 19.00
22  Belgium 19.00
23 Increase  Greece 19.00
24 Decrease  Malta 18.00
25 Steady  Netherlands 14.00
26 Increase  Denmark 13.00
27 Decrease  Jamaica 11.00
28 Steady  Spain 9.00
29 Increase  Czech Republic 7.00
30  Sweden 7.00
31 Decrease  South Africa 4.00
32 Increase  Hungary 2.00
33 Decrease  Latvia 0.00
34 Steady  Morocco 0.00
  • Cook Islands defeat Wales 28–24, November 2013
  • Tonga defeat Cook Islands 22–16, November 2013
  • USA defeat Cook Islands 32–20, October 2013
  • New Zealand defeat Cook Islands 50–0, October 2013
  • Cook Islands defeat Lebanon 28–24, October 2012
  • Papua New Guinea defeat Cook Islands 42–14, November 2009
  • Cook Islands defeat Fiji 24–22, October 2009
  • Cook Islands defeat Samoa 22–20, October 2009
  • New Zealand Māori def. Cook Islands 24–12, December 2006
  • Cook Islands def. New Zealand Māori 18–16, December 2006
  • Cook Islands def. New Zealand Māori 24–16, 16 October 2005 (Curtainraiser:New Zealand Māori under 18s def. Cook Islands under 18s 38–26)
  • Cook Islands v New Zealand Māori 13 October 2005
  • Cook Islands drew with New Zealand Māoris 26-all (8 October 2005) (Curtainraiser:Cook Islands under 18 def New Zealand Māori 20–14)
  • Cook Islands def. New Zealand Māoris 46–4 (23 October 2004)
  • Cook Islands def. Fiji 20–12 (21 October 2004)
  • Cook Islands def. American Samoa 28–12 (20 October 2004)
  • Cook Islands def. Tonga 18–10 (19 October 2004)
  • Tonga def. Cook Islands 22–17 (17 October 2004)
  • Tonga def. Cook Islands 38–30 (4 October 2004)
  • Cook Islands def. Fiji 22–14 (27 August 2004)
  • Cook Islands def. Fiji 36–24 (17 August 2004)
  • Cook Islands drew with Lebanon 22–22 (5 November 2000)
  • New Zealand def. Cook Islands 84–10 (2 November 2000)
  • Wales def. Cook Islands 38–6 (29 October 2000)
  • Tonga def. Cook Islands 34–4 (1999)
  • Tonga def. Cook Islands 42–2 (1999)
  • Tonga def. Cook Islands 28–13) (1999)
  • Cook Islands def. Tokelau 22–16 (1998)
  • American Samoa def. Cook Islands 40–34 (1998)
  • New Zealand Māoris def. Cook Islands 28–6 (1998)
  • Tonga def. Cook Islands 30–22 (1998)
  • Cook Islands def. New Zealand Māoris 16–8 (1998)
  • Papua New Guinea def. Cook Islands 46–6 (1998)
  • New Zealand Māoris def. Cook Islands 24–4 (1998)
  • Cook Islands def. New Zealand Māoris 18–10 (1998)
  • New Zealand Māoris def. Cook Islands 24–14 (1998)
  • Tonga def. Cook Islands 16–8 (1998)
  • Papua New Guinea def. Cook Islands 34–14 (1997)
  • Papua New Guinea def. Cook Islands 38–14 (1997)
  • Cook Islands def. Fiji 22–14 (1997)
  • Fiji def. Cook Islands 14–8 (1996)
  • Cook Islands def. Ireland 10–6 (24 October 1995)
  • Cook Islands def. Scotland 21–10 (20 October 1995)
  • Cook Islands def. Russia 58–4 (18 October 1995)
  • Cook Islands def. USA 64–8 (16 October 1995)
  • Fiji def. Cook Islands 54–6 (1992)
  • Western Samoa def. Cook Islands 66–12 (1992)
  • Tonga def. Cook Islands 26–6 (1992)
  • Cook Islands def. Niue 23–22 (1992)
  • New Zealand Māoris def. Cook Islands 70–10 (1988)
  • Western Samoa def. Cook Islands 52–16 (1988)
  • Cook Islands def. Tokelau 19–10 (1988)
  • Western Samoa def Cook Islands 48-0 (1986)
  • New Zealand Māori's def Cook Islands 32-10 (1986)
  • Cook Islands def. Niue 22-8 (1986)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]; RLIF Rankings

External links[edit]