By SULI SULI
BLACK Orchids returned to the Sports Tok arena in style after three years to claim their first sevens title after defeating Moni Plus Nova 17-10 in the grand final.
Orchids won the K10,000 major prize money along with the Cup and the fifth anniversary trophy.
Led by veteran and team captain Eric Kaiat at Bava Park yesterday, the Bougainville side were undefeated all tournament.
Nova, on the other hand, outmuscled favourites Papuan Compound Ravens in the Cup semifinals.
Orchids had good composure in ruck, but they failed to retain possession and conceded a dropped ball.
Nova capitalised on the error after the scrum and sent winger Darren Kendege over for the first try.
But Orchids hit back with a try by Alfred Norg for a 5-5 scoreline at halftime.
Pressure started mounting in second half as Port Moresby-based Nova kept asking questions in attack, but Orchids kept their cool in defence.
Orchids showed too much pace in their attack as the ball swayed from left to right, finding speedster Felisan Kela who danced past Nova’s winger for a corner try.
Nova were still on the hunt to level the scores, but silly errors cost them attacking opportunities.
The visitors extended their lead through Hensley Sakein who scored under the uprights to bring the scores to 17-5.
A consolation try by Nova moments from fulltime failed to stop the Orchids from claiming major honours.
Kaiat said the win was deserved after a three-year absence from the sevens circuit.
“We’ve worked so hard to get back on our feet in the sevens code after almost three years,” he said.
“This is the first time we’ve won the Sports Tok Sevens and I’m so proud of our team, especially the younger players.”
By SULI SULI