By MELTON PAIS
THE City Redbacks motto of ‘Not just a team but a family’ has brought the players together once again this Christmas for the 2016 NCD Governor’s Cup rugby league tournament.
“Our performances will be dedicated to our late teammate and club founder Stewart Nomi (pictured),” Redbacks captain Benton Leme said.
Nomi died on Oct 8 after a bout of from meningitis.
The 21-year-old back-rower, who debuted for the Port Moresby Vipers in 2015, tragically lost his battle with the disease after suffering for several weeks.
Described by Vipers club officials as a “fine ambassador” Nomi was from Yombi village, Imbonggu, Southern Highlands.
The NCD Governor’s Christmas Cup started last Sunday and Tuesday saw the last regular matches while Wednesday was a rest day for the 40 teams.
The playoffs kicked off yesterday.
The Redbacks have two wins having beaten the Eden Spiders 12-0 and cracked Marane Stoneville 12-0.
In their respective pools, all teams have to played three games each and the Redbacks lead pool D with six points after their latest win over Erima Hurricanes (20-6) on Tuesday at the Kone Tigers Oval.
In the cup-qualifying match yesterday, the Redbacks defeated Nene Lodge Dust Turf 10-4.
The Redbacks advanced to cup playoff while the Dust Turf were relegated to the plate playoff.
The Redbacks will take on the Ex-Rocks tomorrow in the cup semifinal at Kone Tigers Oval.
Skipper Leme said this year’s Governor’s Cup meant a lot to the Redbacks because it would their first tournament without the late Nomi.
“We lost our teammate and brother Steward, who was an inspiration to us,” he said.
“We started this team four years ago. We played side by side until he was called up to the the Vipers.
“This year is all about him, we will put our bodies on the line to win this cup for Steward.”
Leme was confident his side would do well in the playoffs.
“We are looking forward to the finals and I think we have the talent and determination to win this tournament not just for ourselves but for Steward as well,” Leme said.
By MELTON PAIS