BY MELTON PAIS
PORT Moresby-based rugby league centre Stanford Talita scored six tries for the champion Southern Confederate side at the National Zone Championships last month in Lae.
That kind of attacking potential says the 23-year-old is someone scouts, recruiters and selectors should be keeping an eye on.
Stanford can play.
Talita from Yalis village, Wapenamanda, Enga, will get to show some of that talent when his club, Paga Panthers, take on the Hohola Flies in the Port Moresby Rugby League grand final on Sunday at the National Football Stadium.
Talita scored the match-winner in the semifinal against Royals two weekends ago.
The skilled three-quarter used a strong fend to break the Royals defence-line before running 40-metres and weaving his way through the cover to get over the white chalk at the NFS oval two on a Sunday afternoon.
Talita started playing rugby league while at the Port Moresby International School in 2010 — he was 17-years-old.
These days, outside of rugby league, education plays a big part in his life with Talita currently doing a course in business management at the Port Moresby Business College. But while school is an important consideration for the young man, there is no denying that sport, especially rugby league, is his passion.
He also plays rugby union.
Talita made the Panthers first grade in 2014.
“Paga was the first club I joined in the PRL comp. I played second-row in the seniors after being called up from the U19s,” Talitas aid.
“The same year, I got to play for the Hira-lites in the Ipatas Cup and we qualified to the grand final but lost to Freeway Bumpers.
“Playing senior grade club football after a short time in the juniors has been good for me because it’s built up my confidence.”
Although not his preferred position, Talita did not shirk the responsibility of filling in the back-row, displaying his versatility and toughness.
“This year coach Richard (Wagambie), who has encouraged me and believed in me, decided to put me in the number four jersey and I’ve really enjoyed playing in the position,” Talita said.
“We’re playing the Flies in the grand final on Sunday and for me, it’ll be my first final. It will also be the Panthers first grand final appearance since entering the PRL competition so it’s a big game for all of us.”
BY MELTON PAIS