By MELTON PAIS
PAGA Panthers qualified for their first Port Moresby Rugby League grand final in six years final after a 22-12 win over Royals in yesterday’s semifinal at the National Football Stadium’s field two.
The Richard Wagambi-sponsored Panthers take on the Hohola Flies, who beat Tarangau 8-6 in the other semifinal.
Wagambi was stoked at his club’s reemergence as a force in the city league.
The defending premiers could only manage two tries against a determined Panthers, who posted four pour-pointers of their own to march into the 2016 decider.
Royals scored the games first try in the fourth minute through Damien Herod.
The try was converted by PNG SP Hunters hooker Sailas Gahuna for a 6-0 lead.
However, Panthers winger Mark James scored a try near the post after catching a high bomb by former Gulf Isapea hooker Jeffery Para and Para himself converted the try successfully to level the score.
the Black Swan security firm sponsored team came back again with another try through Captain and five-eighth Matthew Wane in the half way in the first half time gone.
Gahuno added the two extras elevating his team make a clear lead of 12-6.
Attempts were made in the remaining minutes but none of the teams was able to score a try into half with score still stood as 12-6.
Panthers’ winger James scored his double in the corner welcoming the second half to boost him team but conversion through former Hunters Halfback Roger Laka was unsuccessful leaving score as 12-10 in favor or Royals.
Wagambie’s dreams of his team making to the grand final was fulfilled when Panthers stunning center Stanford Talita broke through the defence of Royals in the middle of field and ran 40 meters to score a try with Laka putting in the two extras.
The Panthers were leading 16-12 with less the 10 minutes into full time and for Rabaul Gurias and Hunters Forward scored the matching winning try and Laka sealed off the Game with his boots putting in the two extras accurately.
By MELTON PAIS