Harlies finish No.1, face Brothers in major semi


HARLEQUINS have claimed the minor premiership in the Capital Rugby Union premier grade with a total of 55 points.
Followed by Brothers on 54 points with a better for-and-against than defending champions the University Piggies to third place. Nova rounds off the top four on 44 points.
In the minor semifinal, the Piggies take on the unpredictable Nova with the loser to be eliminated.
Piggies captain Ray Vagi leads a side that is big in size and experience with rested prop Wesley Thomas named to start while from former Morobe schoolboys rep Samuel Tender, Peter Titi, Linus Toleva and line-out specialist Gabriel Lovare, Himah Alu and the hard-running George Hoki at No. 8 to set alight a backline with pace to burn.
Pukpuks halfback Kenneth Vagi with Jonathan Siminji and Kilory Lote should direct traffic sending out early ball to Jayjay Garrison, Stanis Susuve, Arnold Lange, Lance Kupa and Dean Manale.
Nova will have skipper and eighth man Elipema Kini and dynamic fullback Manu Guise.
For University to win they must minimise errors, work hard in defence and ensure that they stay focused throughout and play.
Harlequins, after a disappointing performance in their last match of the regular season last week will look to turn the tables in their major semifinal tomorrow.
Harlies coach Billy Rapilla will ensure his side are ready for the game that counts and a capitulation to the men in black is highly unlikely.
On the other side of the field, Brothers coach Joe Kautu may need to refocus his men on their opponents who will be a vastly different side to the one they pummelled a week before.
In the women’s division, Harlequins face a determined University in the elimination final tomorrow.
In the major semifinal, Wanderers without star Freda Waula take on Nova for the right to qualify for the grand final in two weeks’ time.
Wanderers were the competition pace setters but with Waula away representing the Southern Confederate rugby league women’s side at the national confederate championships in Lae on Sunday, Manda Ipat steps up to lead the Maroons.
Harlies coached by former Palais Margaret Naua are favoured to beat University but will need to be composed against a side that thrives on momentum and crowd support.


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